T20 World Cup semi-finals: Daryl Mitchell stars as New Zealand bottom maiden England to reach final
Opener Daryl Mitchell scored an unbeaten 72 to guide New Zealand to their maiden Twenty20 World Cup final on Wednesday in a thrilling five-wicket win over England. Chasing 166 for victory, New Zealand were in trouble 13-2 and 107-4 when Jimmy Neesham scored 27 off 11 balls to help chase down the target in Abu Dhabi with one over remaining. Made a place With 20 needed off the final 12 balls, Mitchell smashed Chris Woakes for two sixes and a four before his 47-ball blitz celebrated wildly in the New Zealand dugout.
New Zealand will face either Australia or Pakistan in Sunday’s final.
On the third ball, he got the initial setback after Martin Guptill was sent back to the pavilion for four off Woakes.
The pacer retrieved captain Kane Williamson’s prized scalp for five when the batsman attempted to catch a scoop shot at fine leg.
Mitchell and Devon Conway put on an 82-run stand for the third wicket but Liam Livingstone stumped Conway for 46 with his leg-spin.
New man Neesham bowled Chris Jordan for two sixes – one of them caught by Bairstow almost to the boundary but his knee touched the rope – and a four to take 23 runs from the over.
He eventually fell to Adil Rashid’s googly and Eoin Morgan took a catch at extra cover.
Earlier Moeen Ali scored an unbeaten 51 and scored 166-four after England were invited to bat as Kiwi captain Williamson won a crucial toss.
England got their openers including Jos Buttler out lbw for 29 off Ish Sodhi.
But Moeen bounced back with his 37-ball knock and shared a crucial 63-run partnership with David Malan, who scored 41 runs for the third wicket.
Fast bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult held a tight grip in the first three overs before Butler hit two consecutive boundaries.
The in-form butler tried to rebuild but an attempt to reverse sweep leg-spinner Sodhi got him out lbw for 29 off 24 balls.
The opener, who overtook Pakistan’s Babar Azam as the leading batsman in the tournament with 269 runs, reviewed the call, but replays suggested the ball hit his off-stump.
Left-arm Malan, who was dismissed for 10 by wicketkeeper Conway off Neesham, hit Southee’s first six of the innings in the 16th over, but was caught on the next ball.
But Moeen launches an attack as he hits Sodhi for a six and then hits Milne over the fence for two hits.
Livingstone made 17 off 10 balls before leaving and Moeen completed his first half-century of the tournament with a boundary off Neesham.