Trent Boult has been left out of New Zealand's white-ball squads to face India after the selectors gave the priority to contracted players.

The Black Caps left-arm quick made the bold choice to terminate his central contract in August, allowing him more time to focus on family life and franchise cricket.

New Zealand selected the 33-year-old for the T20 World Cup, where they lost in the semi-finals to Pakistan, but he will not come up against India in the upcoming ODI and Twenty20 International encounters.

"When Trent opted out of his NZC contract in August, we indicated that priority would be given to those players with either central or domestic contracts, and that's been the case here," Black Caps head coach Gary Stead said.

"We're all aware of Trent's world-class ability, but at this time – as we build towards more global events, we want to give opportunities and experiences to others."

New Zealand start their three-match T20I series against India on Friday, with a trio of ODIs to follow after, and opted for 23-year-old opener Finn Allen instead of the experienced Martin Guptill.

Allen is far from inexperienced, though, with five half-centuries and a hundred in his 23 T20Is and eight 50-over internationals for New Zealand.

"The emergence and success of Finn at the top of the order in white-ball cricket means a guy of the class of Martin Guptill misses out – that's just the nature of high-performance sport." Stead added.

"With the 50-over World Cup less than a year away we're keen to give Finn every opportunity to keep gaining ODI experience, especially against quality opposition such as India.

"The message to both those players is that there's a lot of international cricket ahead and the door is certainly not closed to them."

Adam Milne was another notable inclusion in Stead's squad as the 30-year-old eyes a first ODI appearance since 2017.

Tim Southee and Matt Henry will feature solely in the 50-over format, while Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner make up the rest of the pace-bowling department for Kane Williamson's side.

New Zealand squad in full:

Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway (wk), Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry (ODI), Tom Latham (ODI) (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (T20), Tim Southee, Blair Tickner (T20)

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says his side missed "the best opportunity in our history" to defeat New Zealand for the first time on Sunday.

A Stuart Hogg penalty try and Darcy Graham crossing over, coupled with a trio of penalties for Finn Russell, helped Scotland into a 23-14 second-half lead at Murrayfield.

But points from the boot of Jordie Barrett and a Jack Dempsey sin-bin allowed the All Blacks to fight back before Scott Barrett and Mark Telea bundled over to maintain New Zealand's streak in Scotland.

The All Blacks have not lost in 32 Tests against Scotland, stretching back 117 years, and Townsend acknowledged his team squandered a glorious opportunity after a 31-23 defeat.

"We're disappointed. There was so much to be proud of but we didn't see it through," he told Amazon Prime.

"It was a show of resilience after going 14-0 down to one of the best teams in the world, but we didn't get the win.

"You don't get to play New Zealand very often and that's the best opportunity in our history we've had to beat them."

The manner of defeat added greater frustration for Scotland, given they led 17-14 against New Zealand at half-time for just a third time in history, with the other two occurrences coming in 1905 and 1990.

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie acknowledged the missed opportunity after the match, though he dedicated the performance to Doddie Weir, who was in attendance to mark five years since the launch of his charity that raises awareness of motor neurone disease.

"It's tough to be on the wrong side of the result. We were there or thereabouts for 70 minutes," Ritchie said. "It's some of the best rugby we've played over the last three weeks and I'm so proud of the players.

"We're glad we could put on a decent show for Doddie [Weir], just a shame we couldn't get the win. We spoke about being brave today and nothing defines brave more than Doddie."

Ian Foster had come under scrutiny for an underwhelming 2022 for the All Blacks, though praised New Zealand's fightback after they collected their sixth straight Test win.

"It was a tough game. I thought Scotland were tremendous, they put us under a lot of pressure," the All Blacks coach said. "Our bench was strong and that strength and composure was important.

"It was a high penalty count game and that allowed Scotland to get into our half too often, so we need to work on that.

"It would have been easy for us to panic in the last 15 minutes and [captain] Sam Whitelock deserves a lot of credit for keeping the boys calm."

Mark Telea scored two tries on debut as New Zealand mounted a second-half comeback to maintain their unbeaten streak over Scotland after a 31-23 victory at Murrayfield.

Late tries for Scott Barrett and Telea saw the All Blacks defend their perfect record against Scotland, who squandered a 23-14 lead as they failed to defeat the All Blacks for a 32nd straight Test.

The All Blacks raced into a two-try advantage as debutant Telea's driving run teed up Samisoni Taukei'aho before the winger crossed over himself four minutes later on Sunday.

But Scotland fought back amid a frenetic start as Anton Lienert-Brown was sin-binned for a Stuart Hogg penalty try, with Darcy Graham capitalising on the one-man advantage to dive over in the 14th minute.

Finn Russell's penalty ensured Scotland led New Zealand at half-time in a Test for just a third time in history, before the fly-half added another six points with his boot from range after the interval.

However, a Jordie Barrett penalty and Jack Dempsey sin-bin saw the All Blacks battle back before Scott Barrett and Telea bundled over to keep their 117-year unbeaten run against Scotland going.

Reigning champions Australia edged Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand 16-14 in a thrilling contest at Elland Road on Friday to reach the Rugby League World Cup final.

Australia trailed 14-10 at the interval in Leeds, but Cameron Murray crossed over for the only try in the second half and the Kangaroos held on for a nervy victory.

New Zealand entered the tournament as top seeds and lived up to that billing when Jahrome Hughes crossed over in the 11th minute after being picked out by Joey Manu.

But Australia, who have not lost a World Cup match since 2008, responded five minutes later through Josh Addo-Carr's 12th try of the tournament.

Jordan Rapana's penalty had the Kiwis back in front, only for their opponents to again hit back thanks to Valentine Holmes, who dotted down in the corner.

Dylan Brown chased down Ronaldo Mulitalo's pass to give New Zealand the half-time lead, which they would have extended if not for Peta Hiku's try being ruled out. 

Australia used that scare to their advantage as Murray capitalised on some sloppy defending to power through in the 53rd minute, with Nathan Cleary adding the crucial extras.

No further points followed, with Hiku having a late try chalked off and Australia holding firm to reach yet another final, where either England or Samoa await on November 19.

Mark Telea will make his New Zealand debut when Ian Foster's side go in search of a sixth consecutive win in Sunday's clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.

The All Blacks maintained their remarkable 69-year unbeaten run against Wales by racking up a dominant 55-23 success in Cardiff last Saturday, but Foster has opted to ring the changes for Sunday's Test.

Blues wing Telea is one of the chief beneficiaries of Foster's decision to make seven changes, and the 25-year-old is thrilled by the prospect of making his international debut.

"I was just chilling, waiting for someone else's name to get called out, and I was kind of surprised. It's straight into homework after this," Telea said.

"It's more special for my family, for all the work they've seen me putting through and the outcome of it all – that's why it's special.

"I told my mum, my dad and my sister and they were overjoyed – tears through their eyes. The old man was happy, he's been there from the beginning and seen all the hard work."

Caleb Clarke is the only man to retain his place in the All Blacks' backline following the win over Wales, allowing David Havili and Anton Lienert-Brown – whose last Test start came against Ireland in November 2021 – to slot in.

With Richie Mo'unga rested, Beauden Barrett moves from full-back to first-five, with Scottish-born half-back Finlay Christie also being handed a start against his country of birth.

With New Zealand posting a strong run of form since suffering a shock Rugby Championship defeat to Argentina in August, Foster is intrigued to see how his much-changed team will fare. 

"We've selected a team that excites us this week," Foster said. "In many ways, this Test is crucial for our tour as a whole, and it's a chance to show how we're building as a group."

Scotland have made three changes on the back of last week's 28-12 win over Fiji, meanwhile, with Finn Russell earning his 64th cap after being recalled to the starting XV.

Russell, who has not been involved since the Six Nations in March, is drafted into the side along with hooker Fraser Brown and centre Sione Tuipulotu.

Scotland: Hogg; Graham, Harris, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Schoeman, Brown, Z Fagerson, R Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson.

Replacements: Ashman, Sutherland, Nel, J Gray, Dempsey, White, Kinghorn, Bennett.

New Zealand: Barrett, Telea, Lienert-Brown, Havili, Clarke, Barrett, Christie; De Groot, Taukei'aho, Laulala, Whitelock, Barrett, Akira Ioane, Papali'i, Savea. 

Replacements: Taylor, Bower, Newell, Vaa'i, Frizell, Perenara, Perofeta, Rieko Ioane.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson says defeat to Pakistan is "a tough pill to swallow" following his side's seven-wicket loss in the T20 World Cup semi-finals in Sydney.

The Black Caps suffered another piece of knockout stage heartbreak in a major tournament after they were chased down at the Sydney Cricket Ground with five balls to spare.

Following defeat in last year's T20 World Cup final to Australia, it marks the latest shortfall for New Zealand in competition cricket, having also been edged in the 2019 World Cup final by England in the 50-over format.

Williamson had no qualms in saying their opponents were the better side on the day, Pakistan reaching a target of 153, but after another missed opportunity he acknowledged it was a hard loss to take.

"I thought Pakistan played nicely and then we managed to wrestle back some momentum," he said after Mohammad Rizwan (57) and Babar Azam (53) ended his side's chances.

"We were put under pressure early, they bowled really well.

"It was thanks to an unbelievable knock from Daryl Mitchell we got some momentum back. At halfway, we thought it [152-4] was a competitive total because we knew the pitch was a used surface - it was tough.

"But it's really disappointing to not make Pakistan work harder for those runs. They were absolutely outstanding and credit has to go to them.

"It is a tough pill to swallow. Babar and Rizwan put us under pressure but if we are honest with ourselves, we should have been more disciplined.

"They deserved to be the winners of that game.

"We have played a lot of good cricket, we have stuck to what has given us a lot of success, but today we weren't at our best. We know the fickle nature of T20 cricket."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam urged his side to relish the moment after reaching their first T20 World Cup final in 13 years with victory over New Zealand.

A wonderful opening stand of 105 from the skipper and Mohammad Rizwan (57) guided them to a seven-wicket victory over the Black Caps in the first semi-final in Sydney, as they successfully chased down 153.

It sends Pakistan into the tournament's showpiece game for the first time since 2009, when they defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets at Lord's to lift the trophy for the first and only time in their history.

Having sneaked into the semi-finals thanks to a shock South Africa collapse against the Netherlands in Group 2, Babar's side could now go all the way - and he says they will celebrate their achievement justly.

"We will enjoy this moment, but at the same time we will focus on the final," Babar said after scoring 53 from 42 balls.

"The way the team performed in the last three matches [has been incredible]. Thanks to the crowd, it feels like we are playing at home.

"We had a really good start with the first six overs, we knew our spinners could then come on later. We were happy to chase around 150.

"Then we had a plan before the chase to attack the first six overs, so we could get the momentum. We knew later on the other players could chip in.

"We don't know who we've got yet, so we will be watching tomorrow, but we have got a few days to get together and discuss that game."

Pakistan will await either India or England, who meet on Thursday in the second semi-final in Adelaide.

Pakistan's opening batters returned to form at the ideal moment as they propelled their side into the T20 World Cup final at New Zealand's expense.

Set a competitive target of 153 at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday, Pakistan claimed a seven-wicket triumph to tee up a meeting with England or sub-continental rivals India.

Their victory owed much to the work of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, who scored 57 and 53 respectively, with both openers finding form just when Pakistan needed them most.

Kane Williamson's 46 and an unbeaten 53 from Daryl Mitchell ensured New Zealand – runners-up to Australia in the United Arab Emirates last year – were in with a chance, as they reached 152-4 in their 20 overs, with Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-24) the pick of Pakistan's bowlers.

Matters might have been much different had Devon Conway taken the chance to send Babar packing with the first ball Pakistan's captain faced, only to drop the catch.

Babar took full advantage, and it was the 13th over – with Pakistan having reached 105 – before he fell to Trent Boult (2-33), though Rizwan chipped his way to a half-century.

Boult claimed another vital wicket when Rizwan picked out Glenn Phillips in the deep, though the damage was already done - the stage set for Mohammad Haris (30) to lash Lockie Ferguson for two boundaries, the second of which was a huge six that put Pakistan well ahead of the required run rate.

Haris clipped to Finn Allen at the end of the penultimate over, yet Shan Masood had no nerves in the first ball of the final over as he sent Pakistan into their first World Cup final since 2007, when they were beaten by India.

Captain's knock from Babar

Pakistan looked to be staring down the barrel of an early exit from the tournament last weekend, but South Africa's shock defeat to the Netherlands handed them a chance. Now, they will go for glory in the tournament's showpiece match.

While Rizwan had started to find his form again in the later Group 2 matches, Babar had accumulated only 39 runs across the tournament prior to Wednesday, but he delivered when it mattered this time out, hitting seven fours in his 42-ball knock.

Fielding lets New Zealand down

What might have been for the Black Caps, who will have to lick their wounds again after also coming so close in 2021.

They put down three great opportunities throughout Pakistan's innings, including Ish Sodhi's late drop of Haris. New Zealand have now lost three of their T20 World Cup semi-finals, while they have lost five of their last six meetings with Pakistan in the format.

Kane Williamson lavished praise on New Zealand's "outstanding" bowling attack as they prepare to face Pakistan in the first T20 World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

The Blacks Caps qualified for the last four as Group 1 winners, winning three matches and only suffering one defeat against England.

Beaten by Australia in the final in Dubai last year, the consistent Black Caps once again find themselves challenging for another trophy.

New Zealand have never won the T20 World Cup but have a great chance to put the heartbreak of the 2021 final behind them in Australia.

Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson and Ish Sodhi have all shown their quality with the ball for the Black Caps.

Captain Williamson knows he is lucky to have such a strong attack.

He said: "They're experienced players for us. They've played for us a long time, whether that's taking wickets or, in particular, adjusting to conditions which certainly we need them to come to tournaments, world events, that's a big part of playing.

"So they've been outstanding throughout this tournament. And tomorrow we're at another venue against another opposition, and we'll have to make those adjustments again."

Pakistan sneaked into the semi-finals thanks to the Netherlands' shock defeat of South Africa after Babar Azam's side beat Bangladesh.

Williamson knows how dangerous Pakistan can be as they prepare for a showdown at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the winners facing England or India.

"They've got an outstanding pace attack. They've been playing really good cricket. They've got very experienced players on their side, who are match-winners. So, that's a real strength for them," the batter said.

Pakistan beat New Zealand in a tri-series final last month and have won four of the past five matches between the two sides in the shortest format.

 

Afridi firing on all cylinders 

Shaheen Shah Afridi has demonstrated why Pakistan were so eager for him to return to full fitness for this tournament after a spell out with a knee injury.

The left-arm paceman looked understandably rusty at the start of the Super 12 stage, but played a huge part in seeing Pakistan through by claiming 3-14 in a win over South Africa and 4-22 in the victory over the Tigers.

Afridi takes some stopping when he is at his hostile best and New Zealand's openers will need to try and see him off when he charges in with the new ball.

Babar due to show his brilliance

Pakistan have been able to count on captain Babar time and again with the bat, but he had not reached double figures before making 25 against Bangladesh.

The prolific skipper never tends to go long without a significant score and it would be no surprise if he delivers on the big stage in Sydney.

Run machine Babar averages an impressive 41.39 in T20Is, with a strike rate of 127.98.

Finn Russell has been called up to the Scotland squad ahead of Sunday's Test against New Zealand after Adam Hastings suffered a head injury.

Fly-half Hastings has returned to Gloucester after suffering a heavy knock in a tackle from Ratu Leone Rotuisolia early in the second half of a 28-12 win over Fiji on Saturday.

Russell was dropped for the Autumn Nations Series, but the mercurial Racing 92 number 10 is back in the fold in the absence of Hastings.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend had omitted playmaker Russell due to question marks over his "form and consistency".

Blair Kinghorn came on to replace Hastings at Murrayfield last weekend, while Ross Thompson is another fly-half option for Townsend.

The All Blacks will face Scotland on the back of a resounding 55-23 win over Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

New Zealand benefited from a controversial penalty en route to a 24-18 defeat of Fiji after rallying to avoid a repeat of their quarter-final exit to the Bati at the previous Rugby League World Cup.

The Kiwis booked a mammoth last-four meeting with defending champions Australia but only after staring down another shock loss to Fiji in Hull.

The sole previous meeting between the sides had also come in the quarters five years ago, with New Zealand on the end of a 4-2 upset.

It quickly became clear this would not be another low-scoring affair, albeit only because Fiji raced into a 12-0 lead with a pair of superb tries from Maika Sivo and Kevin Naiqama.

Even when Ronaldo Mulitalo got the world's top-ranked side on the board, Naiqama ran in again after half-time to restore the underdogs' advantage.

But the Bati could not hold out, with Briton Nikora's response followed by a levelling try from Joseph Manu with 18 minutes to play.

Manu was involved again in the game's decisive moment as Fiji were harshly punished for a supposed strip that allowed Jordan Rapana to kick a penalty, putting New Zealand in front for the first time before the same man added a try at the death.

New Zealand eased to a 33rd consecutive Test win over Wales as Codie Taylor, Jordie Barrett and Aaron Smith grabbed two tries apiece in a 55-23 success in Cardiff.

The All Blacks have not lost to Wales in 69 years, a remarkable spell of dominance that was maintained as they scored at least 33 points in a 10th straight edition of this fixture.

This latest eight-try victory was ultimately every bit as straightforward as it appeared set to be when Taylor crossed twice in the opening 20 minutes, although there was a spell when Wales threatened to run their opponents close.

But every time the hosts came back into the match – as they did for the first time through Rio Dyer's dazzling debut try – New Zealand quickly moved through the gears to keep them at arm's length.

Barrett got on the scoresheet for the first time ahead of the interval, before a solo score from Smith stretched the All Blacks' advantage.

A lengthy review from the TMO awarded a Justin Tipuric try that looked to have restored Welsh hope, but it was one-way traffic in the final half an hour as Ardie Savea pulled the strings. He got the seventh try between further efforts from Smith and Barrett, with Samisoni Taukei'aho adding the final flourish.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls ended Friday’s day one of the Fast5 Netball Series at the Christchurch Arena in New Zealand winless after losses to Australia, Uganda and South Africa in their three games.

The first match saw them suffer a 24-goal loss to the mighty Australians, losing the quarters 14-5, 7-4, 9-3 and 9-3 for a total score of 39-15. Romelda Aiken-George scored four goals from six attempts and Gezelle Allison had the same number of goals in four more attempts.

They were then upset 33-22 by Uganda in their second outing.

The Ugandans got out to an early 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and stretched it to 17-7 at halftime. The second half was a lot closer as there was just one goal between the two teams with Uganda winning quarter three 9-8 and the fourth ending 7-7. Amanda Pinkney and Aiken-George combined for nine goals including two three pointers.

The third game was the closest as Jamaica suffered a one-point loss to South Africa after having a six-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

The first quarter saw only five points in total being scored as Jamaica prevailed 3-2 while the second quarter was tied 8-8 meaning the Sunshine Girls led 11-10 at the half.

Jamaica’s lead was then stretched to six after a 12-7 third quarter made it 23-17 before a spirited fourth quarter comeback by the South Africans gave them a 28-27 win. Amanda Pinkney scored eight goals from 13 attempts while Mischa Creary was perfect from her six attempts.  

Jamaica will play England and New Zealand on day two at 12:00pm and 3:45pm local time (6:00pm and 9:45pm on Saturday in Jamaica) in their final two round robin games.

Australia's narrow win over Afghanistan on Friday sent New Zealand through to the T20 World Cup semi-finals and set England a straightforward target to join them.

England need only a victory against Sri Lanka in Saturday's final Group 1 match to be sure of a place in the last four.

Hosts and defending champions Australia had been facing an uphill battle to improve their run rate ever since an 89-run thrashing at the hands of the Black Caps in their opener.

With their meeting with England rained off, the margin of victory in other matches was going to prove pivotal.

Although Australia survived a scare in beating Afghanistan by four runs, that tight affair left their net run rate at -0.173, below England's mark of +0.547, which will improve further with victory over Sri Lanka.

The home nation therefore need Sri Lanka to defeat England and keep them in the top two on seven points.

Stand-in Australia captain Matthew Wade said: "We'll stay the extra night here and watch that game. We'll be hoping for a little bit of an upset there, obviously.

"That's tournament play – we put ourselves in this situation straight from the get-go this time. Although we've been trying to chase a little bit of run rate, it just hasn't really gone our way.

"We've been a little bit slow getting out of the blocks in this tournament. Hopefully it doesn't cost us."

Glenn Maxwell struck a similar tone, saying: "We'll certainly be following it. We've obviously put ourselves in this situation, but hopefully Sri Lanka can do the job for us."

Although Maxwell scored an unbeaten 54 off 32 against Afghanistan, he added: "It was quite hard to press the issue.

"We probably got to about the 12-over mark, where we just had to put a total on the board to make sure we gave ourselves a chance of winning the game.

"Even though we were trying to go hard at the back end, they bowled extremely well."

If Sri Lanka can do Australia a huge favour, Wade is "very hopeful" skipper Aaron Finch and all-rounder Tim David will return for the semi-finals.

David was "really, really close" but failed a late fitness test on Friday, Wade added.

New Zealand earned a 35-run win over Ireland to move into prime position for a spot in the T20 World Cup semi-finals.

The result sends the Black Caps top of Group 1 and, although England and Australia can both move level on seven points, Kane Williamson's men are in a position of strength due to their superior net run rate.

It was captain Williamson's 61 from 35 balls that set the tone for his side's innings of 185-6, with Josh Little (3-22) the pick of Ireland's bowlers as he claimed a hat-trick in the 19th over.

Still, there was little the underdogs could do to limit the damage, as Finn Allen (32), Devon Conway (28) and Daryl Mitchell (31 not out) also made valuable contributions.

Ireland, who stunned pre-tournament favourites England earlier in the Super 12s, were 68 without loss in reply at one stage but crumbled to 150-9 in the face of a fine New Zealand bowling attack and are now out of the competition. 

Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi accounted for Ireland's top four between them and there was scant resistance lower down the order, with George Dockrell's 23-run cameo ended by the impressive Lockie Ferguson (3-22).

 

Williamson leads by example

Skipper Williamson was back to his best for New Zealand with an aggressive knock that included five fours and three maximums.

He laid the foundations to set a daunting total for Ireland, who were not to be taken lightly after also overcoming West Indies amid an impressive campaign.

Reflecting on the victory, he said: "It was a good team effort really, that Ireland team has been playing beautifully, they've got a really well-rounded side, and it was a good match and good to get the win."

Josh's Little moment of joy

It may ultimately have come in a losing effort, but a hat-trick is always a thing of beauty and Little's was a joy to behold.

In three consecutive deliveries in the penultimate over he accounted for Williamson, James Neesham and Santner, becoming only the sixth man to rack up a World Cup treble.

That feat further enhanced the fast bowler's already glowing reputation and franchises around the world will certainly have taken note.

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