The New Zealand vs England T20 World Cup semi-final followed the same story as the ODI World Cup 2019 final. However, Darrell Mitchell did not let this breath-holding match go till the last over. New Zealand scored 167 runs for the loss of just 5 wickets and made it to the final of the T20 World Cup for the first time.
This is the first time that New Zealand has made it to the final of the T20 World Cup, before New Zealand made it to the semi-finals in 2007, where they were defeated by Pakistan. Then in the year 2016, he was defeated by England by 7 wickets, whose account was squared today.
Opener Daryl Mitchell’s lucrative half-century and James Neesham’s last-minute attacking batting made New Zealand enter the final of the ICC T20 World Cup for the first time despite early setbacks, beating England by five wickets with one over to spare here on Wednesday.
New Zealand’s score was at one time 13 for two but Mitchell scored an unbeaten 72 off 47 balls with the help of four fours and four sixes. He added 82 runs for the third wicket with Devon Conway (46 runs in 38 balls, five fours, six). James Neesham played a blistering innings of 26 runs in 10 balls with the help of three sixes as New Zealand registered a victory at 167 for five in 19 overs.
Earlier, invited to bat, England had scored 166 for four. Jos Buttler, who was in excellent form, could only manage 29 runs in 24 balls but Moeen (51 not out off 37 balls, three fours, two sixes) and David Malan (41 runs in 30 balls, four fours, one six) took the third wicket. Played an important role in the middle order by adding 63 runs for
With this win, New Zealand also avenged the defeat in the final of the ODI World Cup 2019 when they could not become champions due to the calculation of ‘boundaries’. He will face the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and Pakistan in the final. New Zealand did not have a good start.
Chris Woakes (2 for 36) gave England a dream start by dismissing the dangerous Martin Guptill (four) and the reliable Kane Williamson (five) in his first two overs. Guptill’s timing was not right, so Williamson rewarded his wicket in an effort to scoop under the pressure of consecutive empty balls. New Zealand’s score till the powerplay was 36 runs for two wickets.
Mitchell and Conway then focused on rotating the strike. The first six of the innings was hit by Conway on Mark Wood in the 11th over, then Mitchell sent Rashid for six runs at long off.
But part-time spinner Livingstone (2 for 22) played a stellar role in the middle overs. He got Conway stumped out for a six and then forced new batsman Glenn Phillips (two) to wave the ball in the air.
New Zealand needed 57 runs in the last four overs, so Chris Jordan conceded 23 runs in the 17th over. This includes two sixes from Neesham. The second of these sixes was beautifully converted into a catch by Jonny Bairstow but he crossed the boundary line.
Handing over the 18th over to Adil Rashid was a difficult decision. After Neesham, Mitchell also completed his half-century by hitting a six in this over. Neesham, however, got caught on the last ball of this over. Mitchell, however, made the victory a formality by hitting two consecutive sixes and the winning four in the next over of Woakes.
Earlier, Jason Roy was not playing due to injury and Bairstow (13 off 17 balls), who opened the innings with Butler in his absence, could only hit one credible shot before being dismissed in the sixth over.
England scored 16 runs in the fourth over of Boult’s innings with the help of two visible fours and five extra runs from Butler, but Adam Milne (1 for 31) sent Bairstow to the pavilion as soon as he caught the ball. Williamson converted the catch beautifully with a cover drive dive from Bairstow. England could reach only 40 runs in the powerplay.
Williamson then put up a spin attack from both ends. He got the advantage when leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (1 for 32) gave New Zealand a big breakthrough by getting Butler out leg before. Butler missed a reverse sweep and also missed a review.
Malan’s timing was brilliant and his beloved shot cover drive even more captivating, but the New Zealand bowlers did not allow the batsmen to play freely in the middle overs as well. Moeen Ali was struggling at the other end and there was a need to increase the run rate. Malan hit a six off Tim Southee (1 for 24) but the next ball took the edge of the bat and caught it in the gloves of wicketkeeper Conway.
Williamson played a gamble of handing the ball to Sodhi in the death overs. Moeen hit one of his deliveries on half-volley for a 92-metre six and Milne’s short-pitch delivery to midwicket for six runs. Liam Livington (17 off 10 balls) also hit a scintillating six in this over. James Neesham dismissed Livingstone but Moeen managed to hit him for a four to complete his maiden half-century in the T20 World Cup.