Former Blackpool cricketer Daryl Mitchell inspires New Zealand to victory over England in T20 World Cup
Former Blackpool cricketer Daryl Mitchell inspired New Zealand to a five-wicket victory over England and a place in the T20 World Cup final.
Opener Mitchell’s 72 not out from 47 balls helped the Black Caps recover from 13 for two to chase down a target of 167 in a thrilling semi-final in Abu Dhabi.
The 30-year-old, who was Blackpool Cricket Club’s professional in 2016, has gone on to represent his country in Tests and ODIs as well as T20s.
Mitchell registered his highest T20I score on his 21st appearance yesterday.
New Zealand were left needing 57 from the final 24 balls but Jimmy Neesham contributed an explosive 27 off 11 deliveries before Mitchell steered his side home with an over to spare, avenging their defeat by England in the 2019 final.
Moeen Ali was England’s top scorer with an unbeaten 51 from 37 balls.
The turning point came in a 17th over of the NZ reply that yielded 23 runs, with Neesham hitting Chris Jordan for two leg-side sixes.
He fell in the following over but Mitchell, who had played second-fiddle to Devon Conway (46) and then Neesham, tucked into Chris Woakes and finished with four fours and four sixes in the breathtaking win.
England’s campaign had been hampered by injuries to key personnel, with Jason Roy joining Tymal Mills on the treatment table, while Eoin Morgan’s side played the whole tournament without Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran.
In opener Roy’s absence, Jonny Bairstow was promoted from his usual position of number four but could only contribute 13 off 17 balls after England lost the toss.
In-form fellow opener Jos Buttler cut and drove with aplomb in a Trent Boult over that yielded 16, but the Lancashire star and England vice-captain was given lbw for 29 to Ish Sodhi.
Liam Livingstone contributed a useful 17 off 10 balls, but it was Moeen who took centre stage with a 36-ball 50 as England added 66 in six overs.