New Zealand End England’s T20 Hopes With Dramatic Semi-final Win

New Zealand batsmen celebrate following the winning runs on Wednesday
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New Zealand ended England’s hopes at the Men’s T20 World Cup with a dramatic semi-final victory in Abu Dhabi.

The Black Caps were struggling in pursuit of 167 before Jimmy Neesham smashed three sixes to swing the game in his side’s favour.

He fell for 26 from 10 balls in the 18th over, but with 20 now needed from 12 balls, opener Daryl Mitchell took on the assault, hitting Chris Woakes for two sixes.

With England’s bowlers struggling at the death, Mitchell ended 72 not out from 47 balls as New Zealand won by five wickets with an over to spare.

It ends England’s quest to become the first team to hold both the mens’ 50 and 20-over World Cups at the same time.

New Zealand, beaten in incredible fashion when the same sides met in the 2019 World Cup, will face Australia or Pakistan in Sunday’s final.

The win may not avenge England’s victory on that famous day at Lord’s in 2019 – it’s unlikely anything could – but, as many of the same New Zealand players celebrated Mitchell hitting the winning runs, it may not hurt quite so much.

As with that game, there were dramatic swings in this one, and England looked strong favourites through much of the chase.

Woakes looked to have dealt the crucial blows in the opening three overs when he had the dangerous Martin Guptill caught off a leading edge for four and captain Kane Williamson taken at short fine leg for five.

Even as Mitchell and Devon Conway combined for a stand of 82, it felt like England were in control, with the required run-rate climbing. But Neesham, who batted in that 2019 super over loss, played the crucial, match-winning hand this time.

With 57 needed from 24 balls he swiped Chris Jordan for two leg-side sixes. As 23 runs came from that over – four of them extras – England’s bowling began to buckle.

Neesham followed that by thrashing Adil Rashid high and long for six over mid-wicket in the following over and, from nowhere, New Zealand were cantering towards victory.

The left-hander was caught at extra cover off the final ball of the 18th to give England a glimmer of hope, but when Woakes faltered, Mitchell pounced. Two more leg-side sixes were hit and New Zealand had their dramatic success. (BBC Sport)

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