Australia or New Zealand? Kevin Pietersen makes prediction for World Cup final

England legend Kevin Pietersen ‘fancies’ Australia to win the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand.

Justin Langer’s Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets to reach their second T20 World Cup final, while New Zealand are making their first appearance in the showpiece event after knocking out England.

Neither side have won the T20 World Cup – Australia came closest in 2010 when they were runners-up – but Pietersen favours England’s Ashes rivals ahead of Sunday’s clash in Dubai.

‘New Zealand seem to have all bases covered, but I fancy Australia,’ Pietersen told Betway.

‘History suggests that when you get these two together in a major final, the Aussies blow the Kiwis away. It’s what happened in the 2015 50-over final in Melbourne.

‘I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Australia lift the trophy on Sunday.’

Both Australia and New Zealand produced stunning fightbacks with the bat to knock out Pakistan and England respectively.

In the second semi-final on Thursday, Australia needed 50 to win from the last four overs before Marcus Stoinis (40 not out) and Matthew Wade (41 not out from 17 balls) sealed victory with six balls to spare.

Chasing 176 appeared beyond Australia when they slipped to 96-5 in the 13th over, but Wade hit three successive sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi to send his side into the final.

New Zealand produced similar heroics against 2010 champions and 2016 runners-up England after needing 57 to win from the final 24 balls.

Jimmy Neesham (27 from 11 balls) took Chris Jordan’s 17th over for 23 before Daryl Mitchell (72 not out) hit Chris Woakes for two sixes to see Kane Williamson’s side home.

Pietersen added: ‘It’s the Australian way that when it’s do or die, they do. They’ll just get the job done.

‘That’s why they’ve been a formidable opponent for such a long time. If they get themselves into a semi-final of a major tournament, they’ll find something extra.

‘David Warner is a great example of that. People like to cut sportspeople down very quickly after a bad run – and make no mistake, Warner was struggling with Sunrisers Hyderabad during the IPL – but he hasn’t had the success he’s had because he’s a rubbish player.

‘He’s shown his class in this competition when his team needed him most. It’s not a coincidence.’

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