Little more than two years on from their epic 50-over World Cup final clash at Lord’s, Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson lead their sides out once again, with a place in Sunday’s final against either Pakistan or Australia on the line.
England were among the pre-tournament favourites and excelled in the group stage, winning their opening four matches before losing to South Africa with qualification all-but assured, but their hopes have been hit by injuries to key men in Jason Roy and Tymal Mills.
New Zealand have, as ever, gone slightly under the radar, but also won four of their Super 12 games to qualify ahead of India, with their bowling attack in particularly in fine form.
You can follow all the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below…
Everyone remembers the dramatic 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s between the two sides, but England and New Zealand served up similar entertainment the last time they met in a T20 match.
That was exactly two years ago today in Auckland, with the series tied up at 2-2.
In a shortened match due to the weather, New Zealand posted 146/5 off their 11 overs, before England hit a four off the final ball to send it to a Super Over. Again.
Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow made 17 off their six balls, and Chris Jordan then restricted New Zealand to just eight as England came out on top.
Will Macpherson in Abu Dhabi
Welcome to Abu Dhabi, where the toss is about an hour away. It’s hot, as it always is in this part of the world, and there’s a pretty strong breeze from one end to the other. The boundaries are big here, and the pitch was used eight days ago. It looks quite green from afar but is said to be pretty dry.
England obviously have a big decision to make about how to replace Jason Roy. I suspect Jonny Bairstow will go to the top of the order, but it could be that Liam Livingstone or Dawid Malan get the promotion.
Sam Billings is expected to come into the middle order, but David Willey and Tom Curran could come into a reshaped side. Eoin Morgan has had a good look at the pitch, so a decision will have been made by now.
Buttler to star?
Jos Buttler has undoubtedly been the star of England’s campaign so far, with 240 runs at an incredible average of 120 across the five matches so far.
Only Pakistan’s Babar Azam has more in the tournament, with 264 runs to his name.
Babar will have the chance to add to his tally in tomorrow’s semi-final against Australia, but England will be hoping Buttler can make another significant contribution this afternoon.
Marcus Trescothick interview
“This is a real privileged place to be at the moment. At practise, you see things that you’ve never seen before, the way these guys hit the ball.”
Great to hear how much Marcus Trescothick is enjoying his time in the UAE as England’s batting coach.
Read Will Macpherson’s exclusive interview with the former England opener here.
Without Roy and off the back of a defeat, England are facing their biggest test at their weakest moment of this short tournament.
It is all relative of course, with Morgan’s side incredibly strong so far and full of tournament experience – but the same can be said of New Zealand.
It will be incredibly tight and the Black Caps may have enough to eke out some revenge for that 50-over heartbreak back in 2019. But the incredible form of Buttler and England’s explosive power should get the job done.
New Zealand team news
The Black Caps have named the same starting line-up in each of their last four matches in the tournament, winning all of those.
With no new injury concerns, it would be no surprise to see captain Kane Williamson trust the same players.
Williamson has spoken in the build-up to the match of a slight elbow concern he has been dealing with, but it does not appear serious enough to stop him playing.
England team news
Eoin Morgan is expected to shuffle Jonny Bairstow up the order to open with Jos Buttler, but Moeen Ali is another option to be promoted. An alternative would be to throw in an extra bowler instead, in the form of David Willey.
If England decide against bringing in Willey, it seems likely Sam Billings will be selected to bat in a flexible middle order.
Where to watch England vs New Zealand
TV channel: The match will be televised on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event, with coverage starting at 1.30pm.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the action from the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium online via the Sky Go app.
Good morning and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the T20 World Cup’s first semi-final – England vs New Zealand.
The action gets underway at 2pm GMT in Abu Dhabi, but we’ll have all the build-up before then, as well as updates on team news and from the toss.
Stay tuned for live updates, and analysis from Standard Sport’s Will Macpherson at the ground!