Can PNG spoil Boult’s T20 World Cup farewell plan?

New Zealand

New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea
June 17, Tarouba, 10.30am local time

Big picture: New Zealand look to end with a bang

Is it one last time for New Zealand’s golden generation in T20Is? They only have three players under 30 in their side. None of their senior batters have come to the fore in the tournament so far. Trent Boult, well, has been Trent Boult-ing, but he’s confirmed this will be his last T20 World Cup.
They did come together to show their prowess against Uganda in the last game, rolling them over for 40. Though all of their bowlers made a mark, their batting unit, one of their biggest letdowns this tournament, did not get much time in the middle. The win also came a bit too late, their fate already sealed: they will not be heading to the knockout stage of a men’s World Cup for the first time since 2014.
Papua New Guinea, meanwhile, will be exiting with different emotions. They gave co-hosts West Indies a near-scare in the first game. Their spinners bowled superbly in that game. Their fast-bowling unit has been impressive. This will be the first time these teams come up against each other. Can PNG’s bowlers challenge New Zealand’s demoralised batting unit?

New Zealand WLLLW (last five matches, most recent first)

In the spotlight: Glenn Phillips and Alei Nao

No New Zealand player is among the top 40 run-scorers at this year’s T20 World Cup. At No. 43 is Glenn Phillips with 58 runs in two innings. He top scored with a run-a-ball 18 against the unplayable Afghanistan bowling unit in the first game and followed it up with 40 against West Indies. He came in at No. 6 and counterattacked, hitting three fours and two sixes in his 33-ball stay, after yet another top-order collapse but his knock went in vain. He’s been one of the positives in New Zealand’s dull tournament.
Alei Nao has been the pick of the bowlers for PNG. The 30-year old seamer struck with his very first delivery at this T20 World Cup, removing West Indies’ Johnson Charles for a duck in Providence. He has been excellent for PNG with the new ball and has taken a wicket in the powerplay in all three games. Nao has taken four wickets at an economy of 5.10 so far.

Team news: No major changes

PNG brought in left-arm quick Semo Kamea for Charles Amini in the last game against Afghanistan. Both teams are likely to go with the same playing XI barring any injury concerns.

New Zealand possible XI: 1 Finn Allen, 2 Devon Conway (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Rachin Ravindra, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 James Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult

Papua New Guinea possible XI: 1 Assad Vala (capt), 2 Tony Ura, 3 Sese Bau, 4 Lega Siaka, 5 Hiri Hiri, 6 Kiplin Doriga (wk), 7 Chad Soper, 8 Norman Vanua, 9 Alei Nao, 10 John Kariko, 11 Semo Kamea

Pitch and conditions: Batters beware

The pitches at the Brian Lara Stadium have not been too conducive to batting. The fast bowlers have had a bit of help with the new ball, while the spinners have found some turn. It is expected to be partly cloudy in the morning, and thunderstorms can be expected in spots throughout the day.

Stats that matter: NZ’s batting woes

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