Jimmy Neesham played a game-changing knock with the bat to help pull New Zealand out of the jaws of defeat and help set up a five-wicket win over England in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Chasing 167 runs to win, New Zealand found themselves in a spot of bother when they lost their fourth wicket with 60 runs still needed for victory and with less than five overs left to be played.
Arriving at the crease at that juncture, Neesham played a crucial 27-run knock off just 11 balls to turn the tide against England.
Neesham hit one four and three sixes before being dismissed in the last delivery of the 18th over. By then though, the asking rate had significantly come down for New Zealand, who needed just 20 more off the last two overs.
Opener Daryl Mitchell, who scored an unbeaten 72, sealed victory in the next over as he hit two sixes and a boundary to secure New Zealand’s place in Sunday’s final.
In a photo that has subsequently gone viral on social media, the New Zealand players are seen celebrating in the dug-out.
As soon as Daryl Mitchell hit the winning runs, New Zealand players erupted in joy. Neesham though was not ready to celebrate as he sat there with arms crossed, giving a glum expression. The all-rounder later took to Twitter to share why he was not celebrating with the team. “Job finished? I don’t think so,” Neesham wrote. This means that the all-rounder does not want to settle for anything less than a title win.
Job finished? I don’t think so. https://t.co/uBCLLUuf6B
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) November 10, 2021
After heartbreak in the 2019 ODI World Cup final, Neesham clearly wants to clear the final hurdle this time before he begins his celebrations.