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ICC T20 WC: Mitchell special leads New Zealand into first T20 WC final

New Zealand beat England by five wickets in the first semi-final to enter their first-ever ICC T20 World Cup final at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday night at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Batting first England posted 166 for four in their 20 overs and New Zealand chased down the target in 19 overs to finish on 167 for five.

Earlier, England after being asked to bat started off confidently. But Jonny Bairstow fell early. Then Jos Buttler tried very hard to take charge. Buttler finally fell for 29 off 24 balls. Then Dawid Malan shared a 63 run third-wicket stand with Moeen Ali. This partnership revived the English innings to a large extent. They played with gay abandon. Malan finally finished on 41 off 30 balls with four boundaries and one six. At the other Moeen took charge. He shared a further 40 runs for the fourth wicket with Liam Livingstone. Moeen remained unbeaten on 51 off 37 balls with three boundaries and two huge sixes. In the end England finished on 166 for four in their 20 overs. New Zealand bowlers tried hard but could not exert pressure on the England batting line-up.

New Zealand's chase was shaky from the start. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson fell in quick succession. Thereafter, Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell joined forces. The partnership progressed at a very slow pace. Both Conway and Mitchell struggled to get going as the pitch slowed down. After the mid-way stage, both Mitchell and Conway decided to up the scoring rate. Conway was finally out stumped by Liam Livingstone for 46 off 38 balls with five boundaries and a six. Conway and Mitchell added 82 for the third wicket. Glenn Phillips fell soon after. It was then that Jimmy Neesham arrived and injected purpose in the innings. Neesham made a swift 26 off just 10 balls with one boundary and three sixes. But when he fell it seemed like New Zealand had stepped back in the chase. Mitchell carried on the bat and hit the winning runs as he finished on 73 off 48 balls with four boundaries and four sixes. New Zealand finished on 167 for five in their 19 overs.

Daryl Mitchell speaks after New Zealand beat England by five wickets #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup


High-flying Kiwis by Salim Parvez

Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi was the venue for the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup between England and New Zealand – two of the finest white ball teams in the game. The Kiwis snatched a tense game by 5 wickets through a smart innings played by opening batsman – Daryl Mitchell. After struggling with his timing early on he produced wonderful array of big hitting under extreme pressure. His unbeaten 73 off 47 balls with 4 fours and 4 sixes has taken his team to the final.

Put into bat, England reached an impressive 166-4 with Dawid Malan (41 off 30 balls) and Moin Ali (51 not out off 37 balls), the two highlights of their innings.  The score was 67-2 after 10 overs and exactly 100 were added in the next 10 overs with 57 runs coming in the last 5 overs. It was a double paced wicket where one needed an ability to change gears.

New Zealand after the loss of two key men – Martin Guptill & Kane Williamson – both caught off Chris Woakes, in the first three overs, were clearly rattled. On this sluggish wicket, Daryl Mitchell, the opener struggled with his timing as England took control of the game by keeping the score down to 36-2 in the six overs of powerplay and 58-2 at the half way stage. After the drinks, Mitchell and Devon Conway, had no option but to switch to more assertive mode. Risks had to be taken since the required run-rate had gone beyond 11 runs an over.

Conway departed for a well-played 45 off 38 balls with 5 fours and a six in the 14th over with considerable pressure on the Kiwis batsmen at 95-3. Only big hitting and flurry of boundaries would do the trick against a disciplined England attack – both pace and spin. At the close of 15 overs, the score had reached 107-3 and Kiwis needing 60 runs of the last 30 balls. England were surely the favourites and Liam Livingstone further deflated Kiwis spirits by claiming a wicket and conceding just three runs in over number 16 and finishing with superb figures of 4.022.2.

Over number 17 bowled by Chris Jordan changed the complexion of the match for it went for 23 runs and allowed James Neesham to show his power hitting.  On the other side, Mitchell with a six over long-on brought his fifty off 42 balls. At this rate, the match was clearly slipping out of England’s grasp but Rashid sent back Neesham, caught by the skipper Eoin Morgan at extra cover. Mitchell with two sixes and a four off Woakes in the 19th over, ensured the Kiwis were home, with six balls to spare. A game that didn’t lack drama.

Eoin Morgan speaks after New Zealand beat England by five wickets #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

Match Summary

England: 166-4 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Jonny Bairstow-5.1 ov), 2-53 (Jos Buttler-8.1 ov), 3-116 (Dawid Malan-15.2 ov), 4-156 (Liam Livingstone-19.2 ov)

New Zealand: 167-5 (19)
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Martin Guptill-0.3 ov), 2-13 (Kane Williamson-2.4 ov), 3-95 (Devon Conway-13.4 ov), 4-107 (Glenn Phillips-15.1 ov), 5-147 (James Neesham-17.6 ov)

Result: New Zealand won by five wickets


Playing XI
England: Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (captain), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (captain), Devon Conway (wicket-keeper), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult

Match details
Toss: New Zealand, elected to field
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Start time: 1800 hrs UAE time
Match officials: Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus (On-field Umpires); Nitin Menon (TV Umpire); Paul Reiffel (Reserve Umpire); David Boon (Match-referee)