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T20 World Cup: Looking forward to facing England in semis, says Williamson

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Abu Dhabi, Nov 7 (IANS) After qualifying for the semi-finals, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on Saturday lauded his teammates for putting up an outstanding performance and said that his side is looking forward to facing a strong England in the knock-out stage of the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup.

A clinical bowling performance followed by a solid batting display helped New Zealand to a comprehensive 8-wicket win over Afghanistan in their last Super 12 stage match and helped them qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World in Abu Dhabi.

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The victory took the Black Caps to eight points, with four wins from five matches. It confirmed a top-two place in Group 2 for them, along with Pakistan, as the two teams join England and Australia from Group 1 in the semi-finals.

The semi-final match-ups will be decided after Pakistan play Scotland in the second match of the day. The result of the game will decide whether Pakistan or New Zealand will finish first in Group 2.

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“We know we have got another strong challenge coming up in a few days but really pleasing outing today for the team. Great fielding effort as well, that was outstanding. With the day games, it’s important to set the tone in the park and bring that energy and we saw that from everybody,” said an elated Williamson at the post-match presentation.

“They (England) are a very strong side, for us it’s important we keep learning and focus on the sort of cricket we want to play. It’s been an incredibly tough competition and we’ve seen a lot of tight games as well. We are looking forward to the occasion,” he added.

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The Kiwi skipper also highlighted that Afghanistan is a dangerous side and it was good to restrict them to a below-par score

“We know how dangerous this Afghanistan side is, they have got match-winners in all departments. It was nice to set the tone with the ball first up, take some early wickets which is always good, and restricting them to a below-par score on a 150-155 surface,” he added.

Meanwhile, Trent Boult, who got the Player of the Match award for his sensational bowling performance, hoped to keep playing good cricket.

“Nice to tick off the performance here this afternoon. Now we move forward for the business end of the tournament. The boys are feeling good. We have been playing good cricket. Hopefully, we can keep it going. It’s just about adapting (to the toss), executing well, and chasing it down properly was what we talked about, glad that we got the job done,” he said.

–IANS

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