Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Mitchell, Neesham turn up clutch to knock England out. Dary Mitchell was unbeaten on 72* as he took NZ over the line with six balls to spare.
Dary Mitchell was unbeaten on 72* as he took NZ over the line with six balls to spare.
In a nutshell
New Zealand pulled off a coup, knocking out heavyweights England and making it to their third consecutive ICC tournament final. In a chase of 166, New Zealand were behind the asking rate for a large part of the innings but found the hitting power in the final overs, to finish the game off with an over to spare and erasing some ghosts of the past.
Daryl Mitchell, remember the name…
New Zealand's chase was fully encapsulated in Mitchell's innings. He found the going tough initially, plodding his way to 28 off his first 27 balls and nearly pulling New Zealand into a rut on a sluggish pitch. But off the last 20 he faced, he smashed 44 dragging the game away from England rather rapidly. He hit two sixes each off Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid in his upward surge at clutch moments. And finally finished it with a boundary to remain unbeaten on a memorable 72, making sure his name wasn't to be forgotten soon.
And remember Neesham too..
Neesham's 27 off 11, hitting three sixes was what brought the chase to life initially. Liam Livingstone, England's fifth bowler had thrown a surprise finishing with figures of 2-22, and giving away only 3 in a critical 16th over. But with 57 needed off the final four, Neesham put Chris Jordan under pressure tonking him for a six first ball. It set up an error-strewn over from Jordan which resulted in 23 being shaved off the target. Neesham hit one more six off Rashid before falling in the final ball of that over, caught at cover. But he had done enough to reverse the pressure that New Zealand had been under for a major part of the chase after a poor start.
What caused the poor start?
Chris Woakes. He broke the innings open, having Martin Guptill caught off a leading edge in his first over and then getting Kane Williamson caught off a mistimed scoop in his second. From 13/2, New Zealand were always playing catch-up. They stuck at it through a steady 82-run stand between Devon Conway (46 off 38) and Mitchell before the final flourish.
Was it always smooth sailing for England with the bat?
Not at all. In the first three overs after putting England in to bat, New Zealand got a near perfect start. Both Tim Southee and Trent Boult found some swing to trouble England's openers. And despite Buttler counter-punching with a few drives, England were largely kept in check right through the first half of the innings. Adam Milne struck off his first ball having Jonny Bairstow caught at mid off. Ish Sodhi, who has picked up a wicket in his first over in every match of this World Cup, nearly did it another time but Dawid Malan was put down by wicketkeeper Devon Conway on 2. But Sodhi had one in his second, getting Buttler to miss a reverse sweep and trapping him plumb in front. New Zealand created another chance in this period with James Neesham getting Malan to nick behind on 10, only for Conway to drop it once again. This was soon to turn pivotal.
Malan did the damage through the initial part of the second half, hitting 9 in a 11-run over from Glenn Phillips. The offspinner, brought in to counter England's shuffled middle order that now paired two left-handers with Moeen Ali coming up forced a bit of a rethink from New Zealand. But with that move having backfired early, the duo began to take England ahead with a brisk 63-run stand for the third wicket. It set them up for a strong finish in the final five overs.
Did they get the strong finish?
Yes, and despite Malan going six and out against Southee, England kept upping the ante through Ali and an aggressive Liam Livingstone. They managed to clear the boundary thrice in the space of 10 balls giving the innings a big fillip. New Zealand pulled things back touch in the final couple of overs with Boult, who had an otherwise forgettable evening giving away 40, and James Neesham giving away only two boundaries in total. One of those boundaries also gave Ali a fitting fifty, his first in T20 WCs, that was instrumental in getting England to 166.
Any memorable moments from the game?
In a game of many, one stood out and it came in that fateful (fantastic) Jordan over at the death. Neesham uppishly flicked a full delivery towards cow corner. Bairstow covered the distance from long-on, took the catch and flicked the ball towards the onrushing Livingstone. Replays, though, showed that he had touched the advertising cushions while in possession of the ball. It rekindled memories of the 2019 World Cup final between these sides, where Boult was central to a rather similar moment.
Brief Scores: England 166/6 (Moeen Ali 51*, Dawid Malan 41) lost to New Zealand 167/5 in 19 ov (Daryl Mitchell 72*, Devon Conway 46) by 5 wickets