Abu Dhabi, Nov 11 (IANS) New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said he knew that the semifinal match against England will become a great game of cricket. He was in praise of opener Daryl Mitchell standing up to seal a five-wicket win and a spot in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
“We have played each other on a number of occasions and most players have played together in various tournaments. We knew it would be a great game of cricket and that was a case. It ebbed and flowed and I’m really chuffed with the heart shown throughout,” said Williamson in the post-match presentation ceremony on Wednesday.
“I thought they had a pretty competitive total at halfway stage. It was an outstanding knock at the top from Daryl Mitchell but it was also about staying in there and cashing in on small match-ups, that was the difference,” added Williamson, who has now taken New Zealand to their first final of the T20 World Cup.
Talking about Mitchell’s unbeaten 72 off 47 balls, Williamson said, “His character stood out today and has done in pretty much every game he’s played for us. It an incredible knock. He hasn’t done it a lot at top of the order. There’s real quality there.”
He was also in praise of James Neesham’s match-changing cameo of 27 off just 11 balls, including taking 23 off Chris Jordan in the 17th over. “He came out and hit the ball hard. It’s what he does. It was a really valuable knock for us. It changed the momentum of the game. There was clever hitting at the end which decided the outcome of the game.”
Asked if he would be watching the semi-final between Australia and Pakistan on Thursday, Williamson remarked that players in the team will watch but focus will now go to the final on Sunday. “I am sure we will be following it. The guys have been watching most of the games. It’ll be a fantastic match, highly competitive. We know we have another challenge coming up and we’ll change our focus after tonight.”