Mitchell stars as New Zealand down England to reach T20 World Cup final
New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell (2L) and Mitchell Santner (2R) celebrate their victory at end of the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi
Opener Daryl Mitchell smashed an unbeaten 72 to lead New Zealand into their first ever Twenty20 World Cup final with a thrilling five-wicket victory over England on Wednesday.
Chasing 166 for victory, New Zealand were in trouble at 13-2 and 107-4 when Jimmy Neesham turned the semi-final on its head with an 11-ball 27 to help achieve the target with one over to spare in Abu Dhabi.
With 20 needed off the final 12 balls, Mitchell smashed Chris Woakes for two sixes and a four before his 47-ball blitz triggered wild celebrations in the New Zealand dug out.
New Zealand will face either Australia or Pakistan in Sunday's final.
They suffered early blows after Woakes struck on the third ball to send Martin Guptill trudging back to the pavilion for four.
The fast bowler then got skipper Kane Willimson's prized scalp for five after the batsman attempted a scoop shot to be caught at fine-leg.
Mitchell and Devon Conway put on 82 runs for the third wicket but Liam Livingstone struck with his leg spin to have Conway stumped for 46.
New man Neesham took the bowling head on as he smashed Chris Jordan for two sixes - one of them nearly caught at the boundary by Bairstow but his knee touched the rope - and a four to get 23 runs from the over.
He finally fell to Adil Rashid's googly with Eoin Morgan holding on to a catch at extra cover.
Earlier Moeen Ali smashed an unbeaten 51 to steer England to 166-four after being invited to bat as Kiwi skipper Williamson won an all-important toss.
England lost their openers including Jos Buttler for 29, lbw off Ish Sodhi.
- In-form Moeen -
But Moeen hit back with his 37-ball knock and put on a key partnership of 63 with Dawid Malan, who hit 41, for the third wicket.
Pace bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult kept a tight leash in the first three overs before Buttler smashed two successive boundaries.
In-form Buttler tried to rebuild but an attempt to reverse sweep leg-spinner Sodhi got him trapped lbw for 29 off 24 deliveries.
The opener, who moved past Pakistan's Babar Azam as the leading batsman in the tournament with 269 runs, reviewed the call but replays suggested the ball would have hit his off stump.
The left-handed Malan, who was dropped on 10 by wicketkeeper Conway off Neesham, hit the first six of the innings off Southee in the 16th over but departed next ball caught behind.
But Moeen launched an attack as he hit Sodhi for a six and then smashed Milne for two hits over the fence.
Livingstone hit 17 off 10 balls before departing and Moeen completed his first fifty of the tournament with a boundary off Neesham.
England v New Zealand T20 World Cup scoreboard
J. Buttler lbw b Sodhi 29
J. Bairstow c Williamson b Milne 13
D. Malan c Conway b Southee 41
M. Ali not out 51
L. Livingstone c Santner b Neesham 17
E. Morgan not out 4
Extras (lb2, w9) 11
Total (4 wickets, 20 overs) 166
Did not bat: S. Billings, C. Woakes, C. Jordan, A. Rashid, M. Wood
Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Bairstow), 2-53 (Buttler), 3-116 (Malan), 4-156 (Livingstone)
Bowling: Southee 4-0-24-1, Boult 4-0-40-0 (w5), Milne 4-0-31-1 (w1), Sodhi 4-0-32-1 (w2), Santner 1-0-8-0, Neesham 2-0-18-1 (w1), Phillips 1-0-11-0
New Zealand (target 167)
M. Guptill c Ali b Woakes 4
D. Mitchell not out 72
K. Williamson c Rashid b Woakes 5
D. Conway st Buttler b Livingstone 46
G. Phillips c Billings b Livingstone 2
J. Neesham c Morgan b Rashid 27
M. Santner not out 1
Extras (b1, lb4, nb1, w4) 10
Total (5 wickets, 19 overs) 167
Did not bat: A. Milne, T. Southee, I. Sodhi, T. Boult
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Guptill), 2-13 (Williamson), 3-95 (Conway), 4-107 (Phillips), 5-147 (Neesham)
Bowling: Woakes 4-1-36-2, Jordan 3-0-31-0 (w3), Rashid 4-0-39-1, Wood 4-0-34-0 (nb1), Livingstone 4-0-22-2 (w1)
Toss: New Zealand
Result: New Zealand won by five wickets