T20 WC Semi-final: NZ compile 152/4 against Pakistan; Mitchell shines
A valiant knock by Daryl Mitchell powered New Zealand to 152/4 against Pakistan in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup Semi-final 1 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Mitchell slammed a half-century, rescuing the Kiwis from 49/3. NZ skipper Kane Williamson set the tone for their innings with a 46-run knock. The Kiwis are vying to reach their second consecutive T20 World Cup final.
NZ were watchful at the start
Pakistan kept the New Zealand batters at bay after Williamson elected to bat. The Kiwis lost both openers Finn Allen and Devon Conway in the Powerplay. Conway looked solid but departed with an unfortunate run-out. Pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi was on the money throughout this phase. Pakistan bowlers bowled 15 dot balls, conceding just 4 boundaries (fours)> NZ managed 38/2 in the Powerplay.
A pivotal partnership between Williamson and Mitchell
Glenn Phillips, one of two centurions in the ongoing T20 World Cup, departed cheaply against Pakistan. He scored just 6 off 8 balls before falling to Mohammad Nawaz. Williamson and Mitchell brought New Zealand back in the hunt with a fifty-plus stand. Mitchell was the aggressor, while the NZ skipper played second-fiddle. The duo took New Zealand past 100.
Williamson leads from the front
Williamson led from the front after the Kiwis lost three quick wickets. He worked the gaps initially to keep the Black Caps afloat. Williamson's strike rate hovered around 100 till the 13th over when he smashed Mohammad Wasim for a six. The NZ skipper fell four short of registering his 17th half-century in T20I cricket. Nevertheless, Williamson completed 2,400 runs in the format.
NZ, Pakistan attain this feat
As per Kausthub Gudipati, this is the first time two teams have faced each other on more than one occasion in men's T20I knockouts in the same year. Pakistan and New Zealand also met in the NZ T20I Tri-Series final last month.
A powerful knock by Mitchell
If Williamson helped New Zealand gain momentum, Mitchell added fire to their innings. The latter picked up momentary boundaries to maintain a healthy run-rate for the Kiwis. He also completed several doubles alongside Williamson. Mitchell raced to his third half-century in T20I cricket in the 18th over. He also completed 750 runs in the format during the innings.