England at home in Delhi – Stokes

England will have something like ‘home advantage’ over New Zealand in Wednesday’s World Twenty20 semi-final, says Ben Stokes.

Stokes and his team-mates will play their third straight match at the Feroz Shah Kolta in Delhi, where they have been based for 11 days.

New Zealand, by contrast, played their four groups games in Nagpur, Dharamsala, Mohali and Kolkata.

Although the Black Caps won all four of those fixtures, Stokes believes England will know the conditions best in India’s capital.

“This is our third game there so you could say it’s like a home game, even though it’s in India,” he said.

“I think it does (offer an advantage), yeah. We learned a lot from the Afghanistan game leading into Sri Lanka, knowing we’re a little bit more used to the conditions, knowing it’s quite hard to get yourself in on a wicket like Delhi.

“And also having the experience of bowling here. We know that hitting that back-of-a-length is quite difficult, because it’s quite variable in bounce – some will skid through, others hold up. That’s one thing we’ll take into the game as well.”

Stokes has been entrusted with bowling the last over in both England’s Delhi showdowns.

Against holders Sri Lanka on Saturday, with captain Angelo Mathews flying, he defended 15 from the final six balls, securing a 10-run win.

It meant Stokes’ four overs cost only 19 runs, showing an improvement during this tournament.

Ben Stokes celebrates restricting Sri Lanka to four runs from the last over, setting up a semi-final with New Zealand

The all-rounder, who is yet to fire with the bat but whose fielding remains excellent, said: “I’d much rather be doing that last-over thing than sitting there watching and hoping whoever bowls it gets us through.

“I’d rather be the man doing it. It’s a lot easier on the nerves.

“It sounds silly to say when you’re the person doing it, but I’m not very good watching in tight situations like that.

“I just love being involved in the game and the high-pressure situations. It probably brings the best out of me in terms of my cricket.

“Hopefully we don’t get it down to that tight again, but I enjoy getting put into the big moments in games.”

Source: ECB

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