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  • Jason Regan

Kiwi Revenge: England bundled out of T20 World Cup

New Zealand has once again upset the odds, proving themselves surely the best all-format side in cricket by powering past England by five wickets in their T20 World Cup semi-final.

New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell bats during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

The World Test champions once again remained icy cool under pressure in the furnace of the short format chase in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Needing an unlikely 57 from the final 4 overs, the Black Caps found a new hero in unsung opener Daryl Mitchell, who delivered an unbeaten 72 off 47 balls as the wheels came off for the favourites.

The 30-year-old had earlier suffered some real struggles on a pitch that seemed a bit sluggish and two-paced as he tried to lead the pursuit of England's challenging 4-166.

Yet the key came when he found an uninhibited partner in Jimmy Neesham, who launched a blistering attack in a nervy and ultimately calamitous 17th over from Chris Jordan.

The England paceman got his length all wrong, dished up two wides and got plundered for 23. By the time Neesham fell to Adil Rashid the next over, Mitchell had taken control, depositing a six off the legspinner before taking 19 of the 20 runs off Chris Woakes' next over.

The remarkable blitz saw New Zealand to their target with an over still to spare.

It put Kane Williamson's so often underrated side in line to add the T20 crown to the inaugural Test crown they seized in June while also laying to rest the ghost of their agonising super-over defeat to England in the 50-over World Cup final in 2019.

"I knew it was going to be a great game of cricket and that proved to be the case," Williamson said.
"It ebbed and flowed, as they often do when we go against each other, but I'm really chuffed with the heart shown through the performance."

It was the first tournament clash between England and New Zealand since that Lord's 2019 World Cup thriller, and it looked to be going the way of Eoin Morgan's side until Neesham's game-changing effort which featured him clubbing three sixes in his 27 off 11 balls.

Suitably inspired, Mitchell also found his timing to hammer four fours and four sixes in all in a knock which earned him the player of the match award.

"I guess with what's going on in the world at the moment, to be able to travel half way round and for them to be here is pretty cool," he said.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, Moeen Ali struck 51 not out and Dawid Malan 41 to earn former champions England a decent total at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Woakes wrecked New Zealand's top order, removing key men Martin Guptill and Williamson in successive overs to put the Black Caps on the back foot.

But Mitchell and Devon Conway (46 off 38) rebuilt the innings with England still in charge until Neesham's late attack and Mitchell's fine finish.

New Zealand now waits for the winner of tonight's other semi-final between Pakistan and Australia.


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