New Zealand beat England by 5 wickets to reach T20 World Cup final for the first time

Published November 10, 2021
New Zealand's players celebrate after the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow (not pictured) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. — AFP
New Zealand's players celebrate after the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow (not pictured) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. — AFP
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson gestures during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on November 10. — AFP
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson gestures during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on November 10. — AFP
New Zealand's Ish Sodhi prepares to catch the ball as England's Moeen Ali runs into the crease during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, UAE. — AP
New Zealand's Ish Sodhi prepares to catch the ball as England's Moeen Ali runs into the crease during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, UAE. — AP

Opener 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.

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

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

The fast bowler then got skipper Kane Willimson's prized scalp for five after the batsman attempted a scoop shot to be caught at fine-leg.

Mitchell and Devon Conway put on 82 runs for the third wicket but Liam Livingstone struck with his leg spin to have Conway stumped for 46.

New man Neesham took the bowling head on as he smashed Chris Jordan for two sixes — one of them nearly caught at the boundary by Bairstow but his knee touched the rope — and a four to get 23 runs from the over.

He finally fell to Adil Rashid's googly with Eoin Morgan holding on to a catch at extra cover.

Earlier, Moeen Ali smashed an unbeaten 51 to steer England to 166-four after being invited to bat as Kiwi skipper Williamson won an all-important toss.

England lost their openers including Jos Buttler for 29, lbw off Ish Sodhi.

In-form Moeen

But Moeen hit back with his 37-ball knock and put on a key partnership of 63 with Dawid Malan, who hit 41, for the third wicket.

Pace bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult kept a tight leash in the first three overs before Buttler smashed two successive boundaries.

In-form Buttler tried to rebuild but an attempt to reverse sweep leg-spinner Sodhi got him trapped lbw for 29 off 24 deliveries.

The opener, who moved past Pakistan's Babar Azam as the leading batsman in the tournament with 269 runs, reviewed the call but replays suggested the ball would have hit his off stump.

The left-handed Malan, who was dropped on 10 by wicketkeeper Conway off Neesham, hit the first six of the innings off Southee in the 16th over but departed next ball caught behind.

But Moeen launched an attack as he hit Sodhi for a six and then smashed Milne for two hits over the fence.

Livingstone hit 17 off 10 balls before departing and Moeen completed his first fifty of the tournament with a boundary off Neesham.

Teams

England: Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (capt), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

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

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