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6 games to look forward to at ICC World Twenty20 India 2016

Everyone has their eyes on the prize, but a few high octane clashes are already generating quite a bit of buzz
The groups and schedule for the sixth edition of the ICC World Twenty20 was unveiled in Mumbai on Friday (December 11). A total of 16 teams will be battling for the trophy in the men's tournament spread across seven venues from March 8 to April 3, with the final at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Among the 35 matches in the competition, here's a list of six games to look forward to for a wide variety of reasons.

India v Pakistan: Super 10 Group 2 at HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala

Perhaps the most high profile clash of the tournament, India and Pakistan will meet at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium in Dharamsala on March 19. Needless to say, the two teams carry a weight of history each time they take on each other. India is unbeaten against Pakistan in the ICC World T20, winning three of its four matches against the neighbouring country outright, and taking the other game via a bowl-out. The most famous of those wins came at the final of the inaugural World T20 when Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men lifted the trophy after a nail-biting thriller in Johannesburg.

Australia v New Zealand: Super 10 Group 2 at HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala

In a rematch of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final, the trans-Tasmanian rivals Australia and New Zealand will clash in a Super 10 Group 2 game in Dharamsala on March 18. It will be Australia's first and New Zealand's second match of the tournament.That the two sides have never met in a World T20 in the past makes the clash even more interesting. Australia has defeated New Zealand four times in five T20Is in the past, with New Zealand's only victory coming in a Super Over.

Sri Lanka v West Indies: Super 10 Group 1 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore

The two most recent World T20 winners, Sri Lanka and West Indies will lock horns in Bangalore on March 20 in what is the second match of the tournament for both sides. Sri Lanka, the defending champion, have won five out of six encounters against West Indies in World T20s, but its only loss came in the final of the 2012 edition at home, handing West Indies its maiden title. Overall, Sri Lanka holds the upper hand, having won six of the eight matches between the two sides.

England v South Africa: Super 10 Group 1 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

Having turned into a dynamic side in the shorter formats after its league-stage exit in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, England will fancy its chances when it takes on South Africa in Mumbai on March 18. It will be South Africa's first and England's second match of the competition. England, the World T20 champion in 2010, has won only one of its four matches against South Africa in the history of the competition. Overall too, South Africa has the better head-to-head record, having won five of the nine matches between the two sides.

Netherlands v Ireland: Super 10 Group A at HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala

It will be a rematch of one of the most remarkable encounters in the history of the World Twenty20 in 2014 when European rivals Netherlands and Ireland meet in Dharamsala on March 13. In the previous edition in Sylhet, Netherlands pulled off one of the best ever chases in the format's history, chasing down 190 in just 13.5 overs to qualify for the Super 10 stage. Overall, the head-to-head record is even, with both sides having won two matches each. The clash in Dharamsala assumes more importance as it is the final match of the first round for both sides.

Zimbabwe v Afghanistan: Super 10 Group B at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur

Zimbabwe will look to avenge its recent series loss to Afghanistan when the sides meet in Nagpur on March 12. The two sides have turned keen rivals of late, with Afghanistan defeating Zimbabwe in the limited-overs series in October 2015. They have never met in a World T20, but Afghanistan hold the advantage in the head-to-head record with two victories in as many matches. The game could also be crucial in terms of qualification to the Super 10 stage as it's the final match of the first round for both sides.


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