Cricket News: New Zealand and its love affair with ICC tournaments and knockout stages continues

    The New Zealand cricket team didn't enter the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 as one of the favorites to win the whole thing

    New Zealand: First team to have confirmed their spot in the tournament's semi-finals New Zealand: First team to have confirmed their spot in the tournament's semi-finals

    They came into the tournament after a home tri-series loss to Pakistan. Yet, they are the first team to have confirmed their spot in the tournament's semi-finals. 

    This isn't a new phenomenon for the Kiwis, who have regularly made it a habit of punching above their weight in ICC tournaments. 

    Indeed, it's been a trend for the Black Caps to partake in the knockouts of a tournament since 2015. 

    That was the year New Zealand and Australia co-hosted the ODI World Cup, and both of these teams made it to the final. 

    And while that year's progress could at least partially explained by the fact that New Zealand played all of their matches except the final at home – which they lost – they've shown the ability to shine across conditions. 

    It was proved when they topped their group and again progressed to the semi-finals of the 2016 World T20 just over a year later. 

    They would fail this time in the semis against eventual runners-up England but had started a trend that has since carried on. 

    What's even more impressive is the fact that their group was a tough one. They finished ahead of India, Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh to get the top spot. 

    It was a similar story in 2019, which saw the return of a format wherein all teams played each other once in the group stage before contesting the semi-finals. 

    However, this time around, the Black Caps didn't find it as easy to get through. They finished fourth in the group stage, ahead of Pakistan only on net run rate, with both having the same number of points. 

    But that didn't deter them from winning the semi-final against an Indian team that had dramatically topped the group stage in a semi-final contested over two days due to rain interruptions. 

    They lost the final in unfortunate circumstances but proved without a shadow of a doubt that they are a force to be reckoned with. 

    They repeated the feat in the 2021 T20 World Cup, topping a group that featured India and Pakistan to once again qualify for the knockout stages before losing in the final to Australia. 

    It's also worth noting that they played in – and won – the final of the maiden ICC World Test Championship, thus ending their ICC trophy drought. 

    And now it's 2022, and once again, they will be in the semis of an ICC tournament – ahead of opponents that are much fancied. 

    Mind you; it wasn't always this way. New Zealand has always been a quality side, but this level of consistency has only come around under the captaincy of Kane Williamson. 

    The real challenge now will be to put their status of 'always the bridesmaid, never the bride' to rest once and for all by winning the tournament. 

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Which 3 other teams will join New Zealand for last fours of T20 World Cup 2022?🤔<br><br>📸: ICC<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#T20WorldCup2022</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#T20WorldCup</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NewZealand</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cricket</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; SportsTiger (@sportstigerapp) <a href="">November 5, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>