Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - To be on the wrong side of a close game is not easy to take: Morgan. "We were right in the game probably until Jimmy Neesham came to the wicket, if not ahead of the game."
"We were right in the game probably until Jimmy Neesham came to the wicket, if not ahead of the game."
Jimmy Neesham's game changing innings of 27 off 11 deliveries and the way he cleared the fence made all the difference, according to England skipper Eoin Morgan. In a chase of 167, New Zealand were behind the required rate when Neesham came to the crease. They needed 60 off 29 deliveries when the No. 6 arrived but managed to win with an over to spare thanks to Neesham's cameo and a fine knock under pressure from Daryl Mitchell (72* off 47).
“Yeah, we're devastated. To be on the wrong side of a close game is not easy to take. I thought we fought unbelievably well today on a wicket that didn't necessarily suit our batting, but we managed to post in and around a par score. We were brilliant with the ball,” said Morgan. “We were right in the game probably until Jimmy Neesham came to the wicket, if not ahead of the game. I think throughout those innings everybody struggled to clear the ropes on both sides, and I think that was just the nature of the pitch. So yeah, you have to take your hat off to him. He played really well.”
“I thought Jimmy Neesham was probably the only guy that came out and was showing the ability to strike the ball cleanly from ball one. I think when you look at particularly our innings, our hitting ability within our squad is quite strong, and the indication that the guys didn't feel like they could clear the ropes due to the nature of the pitch was a good indication that it wasn't coming on to the bat that well. I think that continued throughout the Black Caps' innings until he came to the crease,” added Morgan.
New Zealand were in early trouble in the chase, losing Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson inside three overs. But they kept themselves in the hunt thanks to Mitchell and Devon Conway's 82-run association for the third wicket. “When you take two big wickets as early as we did, you feel ahead of the game. They were trying to, I suppose, steady the ship, and I think we managed to keep them at bay for quite some time, so they did well again to wrestle back momentum and then just obviously put them in a commanding position,” the England captain said.
It was yet another thrilling encounter involving England and New Zealand, and this time Williamson's side emerged victorious in Abu Dhabi to make it to the final of an ICC competition for the third time in succession.
“The competitive nature in which we play the Black Caps is always healthy. There's a huge amount of respect between both sides because we know every time we play them, we're going to be up against it. They don't give you a lot of leeway. They're very disciplined, and if you do win against them, you know you've played really well,” said Morgan.