T20 World Cup: Kane Williamson wins toss, New Zealand to bowl first against England

Abu Dhabi: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has won the toss and elected to bowl first against England in the first semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday. England were toppers of Group 1 while New Zealand were the second-best side in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage.

After winning the toss, Williamson said his playing eleven was unchanged from their win against Afghanistan in Super 12. “It’s a good pitch but a bit of dew later. We’re going in with the same team. Busy period for us, and we’ve come through, giving in good performances. The two most experienced bowlers have bowled beautifully throughout the tournament, and after Lockie, Milne has come in and done well too. England has a lot of depth, that’s their strength, and we have the opportunity to play our own brand of cricket.”

England skipper Eoin Morgan said Sam Billings replaces an injured Jason Roy in the playing eleven. In Roy’s absence, Jonny Bairstow will open the batting alongside Jos Buttler. “Hopefully the toss doesn’t decide the result of the game. Roy misses out today, obviously he’s disappointed because he’s played a big role for us in this tournament, and to miss out on a semi-final is devastating. However, Billings gets another chance. He’s been doing the hard work and carrying the drinks for us, and it’s a big opportunity for him. We can’t take New Zealand lightly at all, they’ve been playing semi-finals and finals for a lot longer than we have, so we’ll have to play out of our skins to beat them. Looking forward to a great contest today.”

Playing XIs

England: Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan (captain), Sam Billings, Liam Livingstone, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood and Adil Rashid

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (captain), Devon Conway (wicketkeeper), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi and Trent Boult

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