New Zealand buried the ghost of four years ago of losing a bitter 2019 world cup final to England in a dramatic tie they lost in extra time play off on the faster run rate when they knocked out Eoin Morgan’s odds on favourite team in a 5-wicket semi-final victory to put themselves a step away from the eluding pot of gold in instant cricket – the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup 2022 in a charged up final assault of achieving the near impossible of 57 runs off 24 balls at the Dubai Cricket Stadium on Thursday. The final scores read New Zealand 167 for 5 after 19 overs to England’s 166 for 4 in 20. The Black Caps champagne thrust to the final will pit them against the winners of second semi-finalists Australia and Pakistan on November 14.
The ides of 2019 in the man who did it for England Ben Stokes was not there this time around, but it was a clinical threatening English side the Black Caps went past in what was another drama filled showdown with opening batsman Daryl Mitchel 72 off 47 (4×6, 4×4) carrying the fight in a match swaying fifth wicket incredible partnership of 40 runs off just 13 with James Neeshan who reeled off 27 off 11 clobbering 3 lusty sixes and a boundary. Regarded as New Zealand’s T20 big gun, Mitchell displayed tremendous application from just the boundary in the first 10 overs in the face of a gloomy 2 for 13 off 2.4 overs start of having lost Martin Guptil for 4 and Williamson for 5 to carrying the side through to Player of the Match reward. The twosome brilliance steeled to big show challenges came to play in typical cliff hanger pinch hitting with Neeshan smashing Chris Jordan for six over square leg in the 17th over fetching 23 runs off 8 deliveries as New Zealand brought the game alive with the batsman rekindling memories of his mighty six off Jofra Archer in 2019 in their failed cup bid then. With the deficit reduced to 34 off 18, Mitchell came out of his shadow sparring in measuring up to the demanding run equation dispatching Chris Woakes for two mighty sixes and one to the ropes in the decisive 19th over in taking the Black Caps one step away from the T20 pot of gold. The cornerstone to the triumph was Mitchell’s decisive 82-run partnership for the third wicket with Devon Conway 46 off 38 (5×4, 1×6).
England’s 166 for 4 after being put in to bat was built around Moeen Ali’s unbeaten 51 off 37 (3×4, 2×6) and Dawid Malan’s 41 off 30 4×4, 1×6) with Jos Butler making 29 upfront.
England 166/4 (20 Overs) RR: 8.30
(Moeen Ali n.o. 51, Dawid Malan 41, Jos Butler 29, Liam Livingstone 17)
New Zealand 167/5 (19 Overs) RR: 8.78
(Daryl Mitchel n.o. 72, Devon Conway 46, James Neesham 27, Mitchel Santner n.o. 1, Liam Livingstone 2/22, Chris Woakes 2/36)