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T20 World Cup: England cannot envy New Zealand for their semi-final win after 2019 heartbreak

PAUL NEWMAN: England fans cannot envy New Zealand for their triumph in the T20 World Cup semifinal after their heartbreak in 2019 at Lord’s

  • New Zealand beat England by five wickets to reach the World Cup final
  • They successfully pursued the target of 167 thanks to the brilliant Daryl Mitchell
  • The Black Caps successfully enacted revenge for their heartbreak in 2019 at Lord’s
  • The Kiwis reacted with dignity to the loss and England must now do the same


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It was Jimmy Neesham who became the symbol of New Zealand’s worthy response to the heartbreak of losing the 2019 World Cup final “ by the slightest margin, ” as commentator Ian Smith memorably put it.

Neesham, the best guy among a New Zealand team full of good guys, took to Twitter late on the night of that epic finale to offer the following advice: ‘Kids, don’t play sport. Start baking or something. Die at 60 really fat and happy. ‘

A self-pity rather than humorous post would have been excused. After all, Neesham did more than anyone else to tip that thrilling New Zealand road encounter by taking three wickets and then churning out the last ball to leave the final tied.

Just for good measure, the off-roader smashed 13 out of five balls, including a huge six against Jofra Archer, after being entrusted with the bat in the super over, only to be left helpless on the non-forward end for the final ball like Martin Guptill. Sold out.

New Zealand will play Pakistan or Australia in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday.

New Zealand will play Pakistan or Australia in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday.

A late burst of six from Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham (pictured) inspired New Zealand

A late burst of six from Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham (pictured) inspired New Zealand

A late burst of six from Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham (pictured) inspired New Zealand

Neesham took to social media again last night, with his reaction to yesterday’s thriller, to post a photo of him jumping for joy at the moment of victory with him sitting calmly, along with the words: ‘Job done? I do not believe it.’

This time it was a professional response to sum up a spectacular change of luck.

For how New Zealand deserved a win leading them to a game of their first World Cup win in cricket of 50 or more than 20 after 11 semi-finals. And how Neesham deserved to be at the center of it all.

Daryl Mitchell may have become the man of the match and dominate the celebratory scenes afterward, with his famous rugby coach father John a happy figure in the stands, but it was Neesham who turned this semi-final around.

His assault on Chris Jordan on that fateful 17th, just after Liam Livingstone showed up to seal a final spot for England by claiming the wicket of the man who has reached more T20 international sixes this year than anyone else in world cricket at Glenn Phillips, will be move on to the New Zealand cricket legend.

Daryl Mitchell celebrates with Mitchell Santner after New Zealand's win over England

Daryl Mitchell celebrates with Mitchell Santner after New Zealand's win over England

Daryl Mitchell celebrates with Mitchell Santner after New Zealand’s win over England

England set New Zealand a target of 167 to reach the final of the T20 World Cup

England set New Zealand a target of 167 to reach the final of the T20 World Cup

England set New Zealand a target of 167 to reach the final of the T20 World Cup

How fitting it was also that Neesham had a bit of luck when Jonny Bairstow seemed to have made an incredible ‘catch’ to fire him only to brush his knee over the edge marker before throwing the ball to Livingstone. Trent Boult stepping over the rope at Lord’s to pardon Ben Stokes?

What a character it was to see New Zealand turn down a single at a crucial stage in the chase when Mitchell accidentally stopped Adil Rashid. It would take the most ruthless England fan to envy New Zealand for their timing.

The cheers should go to Neesham and his impressive team rather than recriminations to Jordan and a defeated England.

They snatched this semifinal from England instead of Jordan and company doing a lot of wrong, as well as failing to do well in one more, just as Stokes did not do too much wrong when the force was with Carlos Brathwaite in the last T20 World Cup. .

Neesham contributed 27 of 11 explosive deliveries before Mitchell surpassed them.

Neesham contributed 27 of 11 explosive deliveries before Mitchell surpassed them.

Neesham contributed 27 of 11 explosive deliveries before Mitchell surpassed them.

New Zealand can never again be considered disadvantaged. They will never be able to go ‘unnoticed’ again, as they did again in this tournament before leading India to a semi-final.

If anything, they should now be overdone dogs.

They deservedly beat England in test cricket last summer before becoming test world champions, again at India’s expense, for six close days in the first red ball final in Southampton. And now this.

Now all we need is for Pakistan to defeat Australia today and we will have a final where the neutrals can support both sides.

New Zealand is the second team of all, while Pakistan has been hit hard this year by England’s refusal to travel and New Zealand pulling out of their tour on the morning of their first match in Rawalpindi.

However, if Australia wins today, there will be no question who to support on Sunday. It will be up to Neesham’s team to prevent them from approaching the ashes overhead.

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