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The Financial Express

Mitchell, Neesham heroics put New Zealand into the Final

| Updated: November 11, 2021 10:29:54


Photo: ESPNCricinfo Photo: ESPNCricinfo

New Zealand defeat England by 5 wickets to play their first-ever T20 World Cup final.

They knock out favourites England and complete what could be called a revenge for both the previous ODI and T20 World Cup clashes. The Kiwis are now set to face the winners of the second semi-final on the 14th of November, in Dubai. 

Chasing 167 against England was always going to be a tall task and New Zealand got off to a poor start, finding themselves at 13-2 after 2.4 overs.

It was then up to Darryl Mitchell and Devon Conway to bring New Zealand back in the game. The pair put up 82 runs off 66 balls which set up a plausible but challenging scenario for the middle order aggressors who were set to come.

Liam Livingstone picked up Devon Conway and Glenn Philips within a space of 9 deliveries and that meant the Blackcaps needed 57 off the last 4 overs. With the odds stacked against his team, Jimmy Neesham launched an assault on Chris Jordan.

Jordan has been struggling to execute his yorkers for over a year and that was on display as he got hit for 23 in the 17th over. This setback was something England could not recover from, even after Adil Rashid dismissed Neesham.

Well set Daryl Mitchell had started to assess the conditions well and managed to get the boundaries just when his team needed them the most.

20 runs off the penultimate over from Chris Woakes secured the victory for New Zealand and that too with an over to spare.

Earlier in the match, England were asked to bat first after losing the toss. Jonny Bairstow, opening for the first time in this tournament, never really got going and could only manage 13 off 17 balls.

Joss Buttler was looking good but he too was dismissed before crossing an individual score of 30. Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan stitched a crucial 3rd wicket partnership with the latter remaining unbeaten on 51.

A handy cameo from Liam Livingstone and a few instances of uncharacteristic misfielding from New Zealand got England to the respectable total of 166.

Daryl Mitchell was judged the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 72 off 47 balls and rightly so. However, the game was turned on its head by Jimmy Neesham’s breathtaking cameo, best described as an onslaught, of 27 runs from 11 deliveries.

This win will certainly be a big confidence booster for New Zealand before the all-important final.

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