T20 World Cup: Magnificent Mitchell and Neesham put New Zealand in maiden final

By Sports Desk November 10, 2021

Daryl Mitchell's brilliant unbeaten half-century put New Zealand into a first T20 World Cup final as they gained revenge over England with a dramatic five-wicket victory.

England inflicted a heartbreaking defeat on the Black Caps in the 50-over World Cup final at Lord's in 2019, but it was New Zealand's day in a thrilling semi-final at Zayed Cricket Stadium.

England posted 166-4 after being put in by Kane Williamson, Moeen Ali top scoring with 51 not out off 37 balls and Dawid Malan (41 from 30) also playing a big hand.

Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi and Jimmy Neesham took a wicket apiece for the Black Caps on a tense evening in Abu Dhabi, where Trent Boult's four wicketless overs went for 40 runs.

New Zealand were in big trouble on 13-2 after Chris Woakes dismissed the dangerous Martin Guptill and prolific captain Kane Williamson early in the run chase.

A stand of 82 between Mitchell and Devon Conway (46 from 38) put the game very much in the balance and it looked like England were heading into the final after the excellent Liam Livingstone (2-22) struck twice.

A pulsating semi-final swung in New Zealand's favour when Chris Jordan conceded 23 runs from a 17th over that saw Neesham cut loose, having a slice of fortune when Jonny Bairstow caught him on the boundary but his leg touched the rope before he could toss the ball back inside the boundary to Livingstone.

Neesham fell for a crucial 27 off 10 balls, but clean striking and composure from Mitchell (72no from 47) saw the Black Caps through to a final against Pakistan or Australia on Sunday with an over to spare, having needed 57 to win off the final four overs.

 

Moeen motors after Malan lays platform

Moeen and Malan put on 63 for the third wicket after Jos Buttler (29) and Jonny Bairstow (13) - opening with Jason Roy ruled out - departed.

Conway dropped Malan on 10 as England got a move on in the second half of the innings, scoring a further 99 after they were 67-2 after 10 overs, and Mitchell Santner bowled only the one over due to the left-handers being at the crease.

Malan struck a flurry of glorious cover drives, while Moeen cleared the rope twice and Livingstone struck a huge straight six before he fell in a final over from Neesham that ended with Eoin Morgan dropped by Glenn Phillips from the final delivery.

 

Mitchell the man as Black Caps break new ground

Woakes saw the back of Guptill off the third ball of the run chase and also claimed the big wicket of Williamson, who was taken by Adil Rashid for only five attempting a scoop in the third over.

Conway and Mitchell steadied the ship before the left-hander gave Livingstone the charge in the 14th over and was stumped by Buttler when he was looking in ominous touch.

The spin of Livingstone also accounted for Glenn Phillips, but Neesham hit three sixes as Jordan endured a nightmare and the brilliant Mitchell - who struck four sixes and as many fours - finished off what had looked like an unlikely victory to leave England stunned.

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