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PIX: Mitchell fires New Zealand to T20 World Cup final

Last updated on: November 10, 2021 23:52 IST
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Images from the T20 World Cup semi-final between England and New Zealand, in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

Daryl Mitchell celebrates after New Zealand clinch victory over England in the T20 World Cup semi-final, at Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: New Zealand opener Daryl Mitchell celebrates after clinching victory over England in the T20 World Cup semi-final, at Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Daryl Michell emerged the hero, blazing away in the death overs, as New Zealand beat England by five wickets to enter the final of the T20 World Cup, in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

The dashing opener scored an unbeaten 72 off 47 balls, including 4 fours and as many sixes, to enable the Kiwis chase down 167 in the first semi-final.

 

They will take on the winners of Thursday's second semi-final between Pakistan and Australia in Sunday's final.

It was a stunning knock by the Black Caps opener, who produced a brilliant late display of power-hitting as New Zealand stepped it up in the last few overs to emerge triumphant, with six balls to spare.

Chris Woakes celebrates the wicket of Kane Williamson.

IMAGE: Chris Woakes celebrates the wicket of Kane Williamson. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Chris Woakes took two early wickets in the Powerplay to restrict the Kiwis' chase, but a steady knock from Devon Conway and a quickfire 26 from James Neesham put New Zealand on top before Mitchell completed the formalities.

Woakes continued his outstanding record in the Powerplay throughout the World Cup when he gave England a big double breakthrough early on.

Liam Livingstone celebrates the wicket of Devon Conway.

IMAGE: Liam Livingstone is ecstatic after dismissing Devon Conway. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

He was hammered for four by Martin Guptill off the first ball of the New Zealand's reply, but had his revenge two deliveries later as the Black Caps dangerman miscued the easiest of catches to Moeen Ali, giving England the breakthrough they desperately wanted.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson fell in Woakes's next over.

Looking to get going after a slow start, he mis-hit a ramp shot straight to Adil Rashid, leaving his side down to 13 for 2 in the third over.

The Powerplay saw New Zealand score just 36 for 2 after six overs, at one stage unable to score a run for 12 consecutive deliveries.

James Neesham's 46 off 38 balls gave the Kiwis the momentum in the middle overs.

IMAGE: James Neesham's 46 off 38 balls gave the Kiwis the momentum in the middle overs. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

However, Conway and Mitchell shaped the rebuild in search of 167, before Conway’s outstanding 46 off 38 came to an abrupt end when he was stumped off Liam Livingstone.

Conway's departure proved to be the moment New Zealand hit the accelerator, as Mitchell blazed away.

New Zealand needed 109 off the last ten overs, and, with the required rate steadily climbing, they needed a big finish. Neesham got 27 off just 11 deliveries to turn the game back New Zealand’s way. 19 of Neesham’s runs came off Jordan’s pivotal 16th over, which went for 23 runs in sum, just as a tense finish loomed.

Mitchell, who had anchored the innings for long periods, joined the party by going big himself to race to his half-century and finish on an unbeaten 72 from 47.

Moeen Ali scored a superb 51 off 37 balls, including 3 fours and 2 sixes, to guide England to a healthy total.

IMAGE: Moeen Ali scored a superb 51 off 37 balls, including 3 fours and 2 sixes, to guide England to a healthy total against New Zealand. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Earlier, Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan produced breezy knocks to help England post 166 for 4, after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Scoring was slow and steady for much of England’s effort with the bat, with openers Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler steady but unspectacular through the powerplay, before Malan and Ali rebuilt the innings.

Some big hits late on from Liam Livingstone and Ali, who finished with 51 not out, helped England to a healthy total.

England replaced the injured Jason Roy with Sam Billings, and Bairstow was promoted to the top of the order alongside Buttler.

The new opening pair negotiated the threat of early overs from Tim Southee and Trent Boult to build a platform during the Powerplay.

Dawid Malan

IMAGE: Dawid Malan scored 42 off 30 balls to prop England after they were reduced to 53-2 in the ninth over. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Scoring was slow and steady, with a boundary off the final delivery of the first two overs keeping the score ticking over. But 16 runs came off the fourth over as Buttler went after Boult in the first real sign of attacking intent.

Bairstow, who had looked lacking in fluency after his promotion to the top of the order, hinted at finding his touch in the fifth with a straight lofted drive off Southee. 

But a shanked drive off Adam Milne’s first delivery was brilliantly caught by Kane Williamson and Bairstow was sent packing for 13 off 17.

Adam Milne celebrates the wicket of Jonathan Bairstow with teammates.

IMAGE: Adam Milne celebrates the wicket of Jonathan Bairstow with teammates. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

That brought Dawid Malan to the crease, but the in-form Buttler fell shortly after the powerplay, caught in-front off Ish Sodhi in a huge blow to England’s chances.

New Zealand could have had another wicket in the bag but Malan was dropped by wicketkeeper Devon Conway.

Malan and Moeen Ali then helped rebuild after the loss of the openers, taking England to 78 for 2 after 11 overs. 

Malan went on to lead England’s recovery through the middle overs, hitting 41 off 30 before bottom-edging a catch behind off Southee as he looked to race through the gears.

The Malan-Moeen partnership was was sent in by Eoin Morgan with the intention of targeting spin through the middle overs.

Ish Sodhi successfully appeals for the wicket of Jos Buttler.

IMAGE: Ish Sodhi successfully appeals for leg before wicket against Jos Buttler. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

But New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson responded with some clever tactical bowling changes, using just one over of Mitchell Santner through the middle and going pace-heavy to keep the England pairing relatively tied down.

Needing a big finish to reach a competitive total, Ali and Liam Livingstone unleashed late on, with captain Morgan dropped off the final ball as England finished four down.

Livingstone’s 17 off 10 did the job for his side as a finisher, with Ali ending unbeaten on 51 off 37.

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