New Zealand into the T20 World Cup Final with top performance

Photo Credit: ICC

With a dramatic five-wicket victory over England on Wednesday, Daryl Mitchell hit an unbeaten 72 to send New Zealand into their first ever Twenty20 World Cup final.

New Zealand were in trouble at 13-2 and 107-4 in the semi-final, chasing 166 for victory, until Jimmy Neesham turned the game around with an 11-ball 27 to enable them reach the mark with one over to spare in Abu Dhabi.

Mitchell hammered Chris Woakes for two sixes and a four with 20 needed off the final 12 balls, setting up wild celebrations in the New Zealand dugout. In the final on Sunday, New Zealand will face either Australia or Pakistan.

They were dealt an early blow when Woakes struck on the third ball, sending Martin Guptill back to the pavilion for four.

After attempting a scoop shot and being caught at fine-leg, the fast bowler claimed skipper Kane Willimson’s prized scalp for five runs.

Mitchell and Devon Conway added 82 runs for the third wicket, however Conway was stumped for 46 by Liam Livingstone’s leg spin.

Neesham, a newcomer to the team, smashed Chris Jordan for two sixes and a four in an over that yielded 23 runs. One of the sixes was nearly caught at the boundary by Bairstow, but his knee touched the rope.

With Eoin Morgan clinging on to a catch at extra cover, he eventually succumbed to Adil Rashid’s googly.

Moeen Ali had earlier slammed an unbeaten 51 to lead England to 166-4 after being invited to bat after Kiwi skipper Williamson won the crucial toss.

Kane Williamson, the victorious captain – “The majority of the players have competed in a number of tournaments together. I knew it was going to be a fantastic cricket match. I thought their total was quite competitive. But simply by sticking it out, making relationships, and cashing in on certain opportunities, some matchups. Mitchell’s character was definitely something that stood out today.”

“In a high-pressure situation, he batted brilliantly. T20 cricket is a game of razor-thin margins. Depending on the surface, the short side – these factors can make or break a match. He came out swinging and hitting the ball hard, as he always does (neesham). It had a significant impact on the momentum. Daryll hit the big shots when it mattered, which was a fantastic knock. We’ll be watching that game closely; it’s going to be terrific. We’re aware that we’ll face another obstacle soon, and we’ll shift our attention after tonight ” Kane remarked.

Player of the Match: Daryl Mitchell | 72*(47): “At the end, it was a bit of a whirlwind. I’m not sure what was going on, but I’m glad I finished the work. With the new ball, it was a difficult surface that was two-paced.”

“The way Conway set the stage and Neesh snatched a few from the ground was incredible. We felt a couple of strong overs would be enough, and Neesham’s hitting helped us regain momentum. Given the current state of the world, it’s incredible that my old man travelled halfway around the globe to watch me play, therefore this is a proud moment for me ” Mitchell remarked.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: