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Mitchell, Neesham star as New Zealand down England to reach World Cup final

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 11th November, 2021 09:12:21 AM
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Mitchell, Neesham star as New Zealand down England to reach World Cup final

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Daryl Mitchell smashed an unbeaten 72 to lead New Zealand into their first ever Twenty20 World Cup final with a thrilling five-wicket victory over England on Wednesday.

Chasing 166 for victory, New Zealand were in trouble at 13-2 and 107-4 when Jimmy Neesham turned the semi-final on its head with an 11-ball 27 to help achieve the target with one over to spare in Abu Dhabi.

With 20 needed off the final 12 balls, Mitchell smashed Chris Woakes for two sixes and a four before his 47-ball blitz triggered wild celebrations in the New Zealand dug out.

"We've played each other on a number of occasions, so we knew it would be a great game of cricket," said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson whose team lost the 50-over World Cup to England on a Super Over in 2019.  "I am really chuffed with the heart that was shown throughout that performance."

 New Zealand will face either Australia or Pakistan in Sunday's final.

"It was outstanding from Mitchell at the top. His character stood out, an incredible knock," added Williamson.

"T20 cricket is a game of small margins. Jimmy came out and hit the ball hard, and changed the momentum of the game. Ultimately the deciding factor."

Mitchell, the son of former All Blacks rugby coach John, said he was delighted to reach the final.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind, but nice to get the job done and move onto the big dance," he said.

They suffered early blows after Woakes struck on the third ball to send Martin Guptill trudging back to the pavilion for four.

Source: BSS/AFP