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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Laura McGoldrick tweet ! and NZ into finals of T20WC


What a match it turned out to be ! – the 1st Semi-finals at Abu dhabi in ICCT20I WC 2021.

In 1983 Prudential World Cup, West Indies were the clear favourites and New Zealand were considered dark horses ! – England were formidable .. .. Kim Hughes led Australia had  Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillie, Rodney Hogg, Geoff Lawson and little known Ken MacLeay (who came in as replacement for Greg Chappell and took a six for against India) and .. .. Trevor Chappel, Alan Border, David Hookes, Kepler Wessels, Greame Wood, Yallop .. .. and Rodney Marsh but could not qualify for Semis even.

Kiwis with their pleasant demeanour are always a side liked by many.  in a tense situation (17.1) – Adil Rashid bowled to Jimmy Neesham who hit that straight, Rashid trying to stop, collided and stopped the non-striker Darryl Mitchell (one could argue that he almost pulled up Mitchell) – the ball went past and Neesham called – but Darryl Mitchell refused a single – an impressive gentle act at  that !!!

After high octane drama of the final overs – Laura McGoldrick who is seen here with VVS Laxman  tweeted, I am here to see this – New Zealand has reached their first Men’s T20 WC !! -  she is a broadcaster, a presenter, a radio host, MC and part time actress.

Was Cool Captain Kane Williamson confused ? or was that a plan – Tim Southee bowled 4/24; Trent Boult went for some – 4/40; Adam Milne 4/31 and Ish Sodhi 4/32 – the specialist Mitchell Santner bowled just one giving 8; all rounder James neesham bowled 2 overs for 18 and the remaining one had been bowled by Glenn Philips, a part-time offie, a wicket-keeper !! – the chase requiring 166 went awry – Martin Guptill was out to the 3rd ball in 1st over – Kane Williamson followed sooner making it 13/2 in 2.4 – then they progressed rather slowly, a bit scratchily – Devon Conway got out making it 95/3 (13.4) and Glenn Philips got out at 15.1 score reading 107/4 –  James Neesham walked in to join Mitchell, trying to tilt the imponderable.

End of over 16 of Liam Livingstone that yielded only 3 runs and a wicket, Kiwis required 57 off mere 24 balls.  Neesham on 1 had just joined Daryl Mitchell who had 46 off 40.  Mark Wood and Livingstone had completed their spell.  Then came the anti-climax as Chris Jordan was hit all over the park for 23 runs – now Kiwis needing 34 off 18 looking eminently gettable.  Adil Rashid bowled the next one well – taking a wicket and getting Neesham whose 27 off 11 balls with 3 sixers had changed the complexion of the chase. That brought bespectacled Santner to the crease – Daryl Mitchell ensured that there were no hiccups in an over Chris Woakes that read : 2 6 6 1 1 4  - the mayhem caused by Mitchell and Neesham may not near the fireworks of Carlos Brathwaite off Ben Stokes in Kolkata but the result – England sunk !!

England for sure fancied their chances till that scoreline of 57 required of 24 balls ! – they had batted strategically, not the bang bang method in powerplay but  methodical approach and set up a more than decent target. Jimmy Neesham’s madness changed their fortune – first six was a mishit – and another big hit saw Jhonny Bairstow diving spectacularly taking the catch, releasing it back swiftly but replays clearly showed that he had already touched the ropes before flicking it back and it was another 6 ! 

When Neesham left, there was still lot to be done – but the accidental opener, Daryl Mitchell, whose father John Mitchell, was former All Blacks player and coach ensured nice finish.  He is known to be a big hitter in Super smash but had an injury colliding with  Colin de Grandhomme that kept him away for the entire 2020-21 home summer,  .. .. suddenly enters as an Opener against India and is now in thick of action.

The reference to the tweet is that of Broadcaster Laura McGoldrick and she is the wife of cricketer  Martin Guptill  - so best of luck New Zealand – perhaps this is most ripe time for Kiwis winning the elusive title.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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