A new T20 world champion will be crowned when New Zealand and Australia lock horns in the final of the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Sunday.
Australia are bolstered by the form of David Warner, and quite surprisingly to many, Matthew Wade.
Wade stole the limelight in the semi-final against Pakistan, slamming three consecutive sixes in the 19th over of the chase to seal the deal for the Aussies.
This will be Australia’s second appearance in a T20 World Cup final, while New Zealand will make their debut appearance in the same.
The Kiwis, under Kane Williamson, will aim to add another trophy in the cabinet after having beaten India in June to claim the inaugural World Test Championship title.
For the Kiwis, Daryl Mitchell has been their standout performer with the bat, having aggregated 197 runs in the tournament so far, while Trent Boult (11) has picked up the highest number of wickets by a New Zealander in the tournament.
Here’s a look at the head-to-head between the two teams in T20Is:
Both New Zealand and Australia have faced off in T20Is in a total of 14 matches and Australia hold a sizeable advantage with nine wins to New Zealand’s five (including a Super Over win).
One of those New Zealand wins came during a T20 World Cup Super 10 match in Dharamsala in 2016. Martin Guptill top-scored with 39 runs coupled with crucial contributions from other few batters to take the Kiwis to 142/8.
In reply, Mitchell McClenaghan and Corey Anderson shared five wickets among them to restrict the Aussies to 134/9.
This was the only time the two teams played each other in a T20 World Cup.
The last time these two met in a T20I bilateral series, it offered some spectacular performances as New Zealand went onto clinch it 3-2.
Interestingly, the last time Australia lost a crunch match against New Zealand was back on 29 January, 1981, when the Kiwis beat the Aussies by 78 runs in the first final of the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup. That win consisted of a knock of 81 from John Wright and a five-wicket haul from Richard Hadlee.
Did you know that the last time New Zealand beat Australia in a crunch game of a multi-nation tournament was back in 1981 ? Since then, the two teams have met each other 16 times and Australia have won all of them convincingly. #T20WorldCupFinal pic.twitter.com/9ilhFb5LDY
— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) November 13, 2021
Since then, the Aussies and Kiwis have met on 16 occasions in crunch situations, with Australia winning each of them comfortably.
Will New Zealand be able to break that jinx on Sunday? We’ll find out, when the two teams lock horns once again, this time in the final of the T20 World Cup 2021.