Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell: The New Zealand-pair turned the tables in the most emphatic of manners in Abu Dhabi tonight.
In what is a significant personal milestone coming in in the seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup, New Zealand have reached the final of a 20-over World Cup for the first time.
First finals of the ongoing 2021 World Cup, New Zealand looked lacking behind in the match for a large part. England, who are arguably the most aggressive white-ball team in modern-day cricket, were dominated the proceedings to the extent that it seems improbable for the Black Caps to seal a 167-run chase.
The task was all the most difficult when New Zealand lost their fourth wicket in the form of Glenn Phillips (2). Needing 60 runs off 29 balls with a new batter in the middle, New Zealand defied all odds as a 17-ball 40-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Daryl Mitchell (72*) and James Neesham (27) turned the table for them at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium tonight.
Playing the finisher’s role, it was Neesham who pumped momentum into New Zealand’s innings to the extent that they won the match with an over to go. Before hitting England spinner Adil Rashid for a six in the 18th over, the left-hander had hit two sixes and a four off Chris Jordan’s game-changing over.
Mitchell, who had otherwise not hit a six in the innings, perhaps took inspiration from Neesham’s heroics to hit as many as three sixes in the business end of the match. Mitchell playing a match-winning knock in a knockout match also justified the team management’s decision to open with him. Readers must note that Mitchell won his first T20I Player of the Match award for scoring his maiden T20I half-century.
Twitter reactions on Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell:
Best game of the World Cup. Wow Daryll Mitchell. Jimmy Neesham the gamechanger. New Zealand simply sensational. Congratulations on reaching the finals NZ #ENGvsNZ
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 10, 2021
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) November 10, 2021
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 10, 2021
Wow, Daryl Mitchell, just wow! Terrific knock under pressure. Gr8 run chase by NZ. Looked down for the count 5-6 overs ago, transformed outcome with bionic hitting in a couple of overs. Most important was how they kept optimism alive despite struggle in the first half of innings
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 10, 2021
Superb win for New Zealand against England. Totally deserved. Incredibly talented side with great sportsmanship.
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) November 10, 2021
— Kate Cross (@katecross16) November 10, 2021
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