Bowler Tim Southee said New Zealand will not underestimate Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals despite the South Asian side’s struggles to make it through the group phase. Pakistan looked set to exit the competition until the Netherlands pulled off a surprise 13-run win over South Africa on Sunday that meant victory over Bangladesh later in the day took Babar Azam and his team into the knockout rounds.
“When you get to the top four every side has a chance,” said Southee. “We’ve played a lot against Pakistan in recent times and we know they’re a dangerous side. “Credit to them, they probably turned up thinking they didn’t have much of a chance but they put on another good performance and they’ll be a massive threat come the semi-final.”
A win over Pakistan in Sydney would take New Zealand to a final against either England or India in Melbourne but Southee said the Black Caps, who lost to Australia in last year’s final, were taking it one game at a time.
“There’s still a lot of cricket to be played until we get to that stage,” he said. “Pakistan are a quality side and we’re going to have to be on the top of our game to get past them on Wednesday. “Semi-final cricket is exciting, it’s what you turn up for, to be here in these last couple of games. Hopefully we can continue the way that we’ve been playing and have another good performance in the semi.
“One of the consistencies of the side is the way we approach things is pretty much the same, no matter what game it is. That’s something to come back to and that’s something we’re very good at.”