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Kiwis face West Indies, rain threatens to derail England again

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Tarouba, June 12: Staring at early elimination, New Zealand will look to dish out a much-improved show in a do-or-die clash against tournament co-hosts West Indies in the T20 World Cup here.
New Zealand suffered a batting collapse to be bowled out for 75 in 15.2 overs in a stunning 84-run loss to Afghanistan in their tournament-opener at the Providence Stadium.
This loss dropped their run rate to -4.2, the lowest among the four teams in Group D, placing them at the bottom of the standings.
Now, they find themselves on the brink of a rare group stage exit — an unexpected predicament for a team known for its remarkable consistency in World Cups, having reached the semi-finals in all six recent editions: the ODI World Cups of 2015, 2019, and 2023, and the T20 World Cups of 2016, 2021, and 2022.
Only two of their batters managed to score double digits and the Kane Williamson-led side will have to buck up as a batting unit to pose any challenge to the local favourites.
It’s not just the batting, their fielding also put them down as they dropped easy chances, missed stumping and run-out as the Afghanistan opening duo of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran set it up with a solid 103-run opening stand.
West Indies on the other hand face no such issues as a Super Eight berth will be up for grabs if they manage to secure a third win on the trot.
Having started off with a scrappy win over Papua New Guinea, WI have started to come on their own and coasted to a 134-run victory after bowling out Uganda for 39 in their previous match.Match starts: 6am IST.

Bangladesh, Netherlands hope to stay alive

Bangladesh and the Netherlands will look to keep their Super Eight hopes alive when they lock horn in a crucial Group D fixture at Kingstown. In the group of death, South Africa have already made the cut and the fight is among the Bangladesh, Netherlands, Nepal and Sri Lanka — in that order — to book the second slot.
Having started off with a two-wicket win over Sri Lanka, a nervy Bangladesh let it slip against South Africa to go down by four runs in their last match.
Netherlands too are coming on the back of a reversal against South Africa and will hope to bounce back. Match starts: 8pm IST

Rain threat for England vs Oman

Rain forecast has once again threatened to derail defending champions England who also are on the verge of an early exit and will face Oman in first of their two must wins matches at North Sound.
England, who have just one point from two matches after a washout against Scotland, will face Namibia in their final group league clash at the same venue. There has been a rain forecast and Jos Buttler’s men will have a watch on the sky.
Wins in both the matches may not be enough for England as Scotland (5 points from three matches) are ahead of the race.
Scotland may get to seven points by virtue of a win over Australia and England’s Super Eight hopes may eventually rest on the hands of their arch-rivals.Match starts: 12.30 am IST (Friday).
As the T20 World Cup heats up, the stakes are higher than ever for teams battling to stay in the competition. For New Zealand, a storied team with a history of World Cup resilience, the challenge is clear: they must rediscover their form and execute flawlessly against the West Indies to avoid a premature exit. (PTI)

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