England are BEATEN in T20 World Cup semi-final by New Zealand as Kane Williamson’s side gain revenge for Lord’s defeat in 2019 with late flurry of sixes from Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham
Daryl Mitchell had barely played for New Zealand when they suffered the cruellest of defeats in the 2019 World Cup final. But as he pulled Chris Woakes for the winning boundary to send Kane Williamson’s team into Sunday’s T20 showpiece against either Australia or Pakistan, he let out a cathartic roar on behalf of an entire nation.
Mitchell had not opened in T20 cricket before this competition, but finished with an unbeaten 72 from 47 balls as England – who 20 minutes earlier had one foot in their third successive white-ball World Cup final – were dumped out of the tournament almost before they could work out how or why.
With a whole over to go – and not even a super over at that – and five wickets to spare, this was anything but the barest of margins.
Daryl Mitchell celebrate with Mitchell Santner after New Zealand’s win over England
A late flurry of sixes from Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham (pictured) inspired New Zealand
The decisive hand, though, was played by Jimmy Neesham, a veteran bearing scars from that day at Lord’s. Two years ago, he had been entrusted to face Jofra Archer in the super over, and seemed to have won New Zealand the game with a meaty pull into the Tavern for six. As has been retold time and again, it was not enough.
This time, with an imposing 57 needed off four overs, he began with a similar stroke off Chris Jordan, Archer’s great friend: six, and a shiver of English apprehension. Two scrambled leg-byes were followed by a wide down leg, then a ferocious bunt down the ground for four, and an off-side wide.
Jordan, for so long the wise man of England’s T20 attack, was suddenly wilting in the desert heat, spurning his customary variety for hittable length.
The next ball Neesham mowed towards wide long-on, where Jonny Bairstow almost pulled off a heroic boundary relay catch with Liam Livingstone – only for replays to show his knee had brushed the foam just before he released the ball. Six more, in an over eventually costing 23.
Neesham and Mitchell traded sixes in the 18th over off Adil Rashid, and by the time Neesham picked out Morgan at cover to depart for 26 off 10 balls, the momentum had swung New Zealand’s way. Watched in the stands by his father John, the former All Black coach, Mitchell confirmed as much with successive sixes off Woakes.
And – just like that – England’s World Cup, so full of promise, was over. They couldn’t blame the toss or the dew. They were simply outplayed.
England set New Zealand a target of 167 to make the final of the T20 World Cup
‘We’re devastated to be on the wrong side of a close game,’ said Eoin Morgan. ‘It’s not easy to take. We threw everything at them, and everything worked – right until the point Neesham came in. He played a fantastic cameo in his high-pressure circumstances when his team needed it.
‘We’ve played against Jimmy a lot. He’s not struck the ball against us like that, ever. It was really good batting.’
Mitchell, meanwhile, was busy pinching himself. ‘It never felt like it was out of our grasp, especially with that smaller boundary on one side,’ he said. ‘But the way Neesh came out and dominated that one over really changed the momentum. His knock was very special.’
On a pitch that didn’t suit their freewheeling strokeplay, England had done well to make as many as 166. Bairstow, promoted to open in place of the injured Jason Roy, never quite got going in a 17-ball 13, while Jos Buttler had time to become the World Cup’s leading run-scorer once more before he was lbw trying to reverse-sweep the leg-spin of Ish Sodhi.
Tim Southee celebrates with his team-mates after the dismissal of Dawid Malan
Neesham contributed an explosive 27 of 11 deliveries before Mitchell got them over the line
England’s star batsman was out for 29. They would have to find a way of constructing a match-winning total.
Dawid Malan responded first, timing the ball beautifully through and over extra cover on his way to 41 off 30 balls, his highest score of the tournament and an overdue reminder of why he entered this World Cup top of the ICC rankings.
The baton then passed to Moeen Ali, who produced only his third T20 half-century for England in 39 innings. When he plays some of the shots he did here – not least a shimmied six over wide long-on off Sodhi – a batting average of 18 feels like just another mystery in a career full of them.
Chris Woakes looks on dejected as New Zealand cut into the target set by England
Woakes then got England’s defence off to a flyer, having the dangerous Martin Guptill caught third ball at mid-off and Williamson on the scoop at short fine leg.
From 13 for two, New Zealand rallied through the deft strokeplay of Devon Conway, only for the game to turn – or so it seemed – during two superb overs by Livingstone yielding only eight runs. First he had Conway stumped for 46, then the big-hitting Glenn Phillips caught at long-off.
Livingstone was minutes away from being named player of the match, and dreaming of a World Cup final. Then came Neesham, and a roar from Mitchell that all of New Zealand hope they will hear again on Sunday in Dubai.
New Zealand will either play Pakistan or Australia in the final of the T20 World Cup on Sunday
That wraps up our live coverage but there will be plenty more to come throughout the evening. The match report will be there in a few minutes time by refreshing this page.
Lawrence Booth will be sending his take on the action a little later and we’ll have all the reaction on the sports page throughout the evening.
Thanks for joining me – congratulations to New Zealand on reaching the final and commiserations to England.
That will do it and fittingly it’s Daryl Mitchell who guides New Zealand home in style with FOUR runs.
Delight on the bench – New Zealand have exacted some revenge for that 2019 final, they have beaten the tournament favourites and they’ve done so in dramatic fashion.
It’s New Zealand who will take on either Pakistan or Australia in the final on Sunday. England have fallen short this time, there won’t be a white ball World Cup double.
A pull from Santner but just a single. Four needed off seven now.
Mitchell wanted to finish it off with one hit but didn’t quite connect and will have to make do with just a single.
And another! Mitchell looks set to carry New Zealand home. Glum faces for England as he launches another powerful six. Brilliant, just brilliant.
Goodness me, what an astonishing hit! Daryl Mitchell, picks the ball perfectly, right out the middle of the bat and that’s SIX all the way. Another crucial hit, 86 metres and England are staring down the barrel here.
Mitchell Santner comes in and New Zealand need 20 runs off 12 balls.
Eoin Morgan has gone with Chris Woakes for the penultimate over. Saving Chris Jordan for the death.
And the pendulum swings again…
Jimmy Neesham’s very entertaining cameo of 27 off 11 balls is brought to an end at the right time for England. It’s the captain, Eoin Morgan, running to his right, who takes the catch.
Rashid strikes at the perfect moment. But has Neesham done enough to get New Zealand into the final?
New Zealand are really believing they can do this now!
All the pressure on England and Adil Rashid as Daryl Mitchell brings up his 50 with a superb SIX.
Can Adil Rashid restore a bit of calm? No.
Jimmy Neesham wants to take them home – an absolutely enormous hit, the eighth SIX of the match and that has gone way back over the fence!
Jordan not happy. Livingstone and Bairstow both go for the latest Neesham hoik for the boundary. They both miss it. Two scored.
What an over! 23 off it.
We thought for a second that was another wicket but it will be SIX more for Jimmy Neesham and New Zealand despite the best efforts of Jonny Bairstow on the boundary rope. Wow.
His knee hit the rope as he threw it back onto the field. In real time, it looked out but the replays showed it clearly.
This isn’t good from Jordan. Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler go over for a word after he bowls a wide, just after New Zealand are able to run two following the wicketkeeper’s mis-field.
And it gets worse – Neesham clobbers one down the ground and that’s FOUR more. Is he going to be New Zealand’s hero in this semi-finals?
You wonder what Jordan’s plan is here.
Jimmy Neesham in and straight away smacks Chris Jordan – and it was an inadequate ball – away for SIX. Hope yet for New Zealand?
And Livingstone follows up that wicket with three consecutive dot balls. Mitchell just can’t get anything off the bat.
A wicket and just three off the over. That could well prove to be the decisive over of this semi-final.
Absolute delight there for the blond-haired Liam Livingstone as he tempts Glenn Phillips into the big strike and he picks out Sam Billings with the leading edge. Another dangerous batsman gone!
Livingstone could well be England’s hero here.
Five overs left – who’s your money on?
Lawrence Booth: New Zealand need 60 off five overs to reach the World Cup final. How are your nerves? It feels as if a good over could swing it for either side.
Mark Wood bowling his final over. Glenn Phillips has hit more sixes in T20 cricket this year than anyone else. New Zealand could do with a few from him now.
A slice from Daryl Mitchell and the 100 comes up for the Kiwis. But they’re still considerably behind the run rate they need to win.
That one will help – Mitchell swings and manages to just use the pace off Wood’s ball to top edge it over Buttler and down to the unoccupied boundary behind for FOUR.
A good over for England. Glenn Phillips is the new man in. A wicket and five runs off it.
That’s what England wanted! The breakthrough to split this productive New Zealand partnership at long last.
Eoin Morgan kept faith with Liam Livingstone’s bowling and it’s been rewarded. Conway in sight of his 50 and stepped forward to try and smash one. Misses and Buttler does the rest.
England really needed that one but we’re still set for a tense finale!
England would love to break this partnership Here comes Adil Rashid again in search of it.
Rashid gets away with one as Daryl Mitchell fails to put away a half-tracker as he should have done. Doesn’t connect.
Great effort by Chris Jordan! One the rope, great athleticism to try and keep Mitchell from getting a maximum. But the ball just hit the rope as he pushed it back onto the field. They check the replays and it will be SIX. Jordan disappointed he couldn’t stop it.
Eoin Morgan sticking with Liam Livingstone – a brief chance of a run-out but Rashid’s throw wasn’t on the money and Conway scrambles back into his crease.
Conway trying to find another boundary but doesn’t connect properly and picks out the fielder five yards in from the rope.
Livingstone was doing well but then pitches it with too much width and Devon Conway threads the needle and gets a much-needed FOUR through extra cover.
Coming to the boil nicely this one.
Daryl Mitchell finally finds a bit of timing out the middle of the bat, driving Wood’s first ball after the drinks break down the pitch for FOUR.
Conway and Mitchell grab a couple of singles to bring up the 50 partnership.
Wood then oversteps and the no ball offers New Zealand the chance at a free hit. It’s the first no ball England have bowled in the tournament and Wood looks on in disbelief.
Well bowled – Mitchell looks to smash the free ball to the boundary but can’t connect properly and England get away with just a single.
Finally, some rhythm here for New Zealand! That’s an upper cut by Devon Conway flashes away over backward point and that’s SIX. Used every MPH of the pace Wood put on that.
Devon Conway is keeping New Zealand in this with some deft strokeplay off the spinners, and the fact that they’re only nine behind England at the 10-over stage won’t trouble them too much, given we’re yet to see the effects of any dew. But you do feel as if England have just about got this under control for the moment. That said, trying to predict a T20 innings can be a mug’s game.
We’re going to see Liam Livingstone bowling for the first time. New Zealand really have to go after him, you feel.
Tight from Livingstone and we’re dealing in singles. Conway tries to launch the ball over the top but there are fielders sweeping up and the execution wasn’t good enough.
Gets the next one right, however, and a much-needed FOUR for New Zealand.
The half way point and New Zealand some way off the run rate they need. Time to reconsider their tactics over a drink.
A few anxious faces in the New Zealand dug-out as we approach the midway point of their chase of 167.
Daryl Mitchell trying and failing to pull away a short ball from Mark Wood. Eoin Morgan confers with Jos Buttler over whether there was some kind of nick off the bat – no grounds for a review.
A scrambled single but another economical over from Wood and England are really putting the squeeze on during these middle overs.
The 50 comes up for New Zealand. By means of comparison, England were 60-2 after nine.
New Zealand need to step on the accelerator now but Adil Rashid will be absolutely determined they don’t.
These two struggling to get away even singles at present. Finally, Conway clubs a shot away for the gain of just a single.
Another good over for England – they just aren’t putting the bad balls away. Four runs off it.
A bit of aggression by New Zealand just towards the end of that powerplay. England won’t go for double spin right now, it’s Mark Wood instead,
Two dots to begin with then Mitchell hooks over the ring of fielders for a couple. He then top-edges and slices a shot high into the air – but New Zealand get away with it as the fielders converge too slowly.
Just five conceded off that over from Wood.
Quite a loud appeal from Adil Rashid against Mitchell but a hopeful one. Then the attempted sweep by Conway, who is willing to go after Rashid, but doesn’t quite connect.
But he did with the last ball of the over – and the powerplay. Nicely driven with good use of the feet and perfect timing. FOUR all the way.
Five overs in and England turn to spin for the first time. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have been simply brilliant during this tournament.
Rashid up first and Devon Conway dispatches him to the boundary right away with a beautifully-timed shot through extra cover.
There’s Sri Lankan band in the grandstand playing some lovely tunes.
They strike up again as Conway tries for the rope but only manages to pick out Chris Jordan, who is a brilliant fielder and shies at the stumps and misses. Conway was home anyway.
Unsurprisingly it’s a third over for Chris Woakes as he looks to add to those two wickets.
Daryl Mitchell tries to hit him hit back down the ground but not quite timed. Gets the next ball away sweetly, however, off his pads and nets his first boundary.
Chris Jordan keeping the pressure on. The win predictor has England at 74 per cent! I just can’t quite believe that.
Devon Conway getting impatient as he slashes and misses at the third delivery.
He then finds himself in a spin but can’t get the timing right to get the ball away. Jordan then quick as a flash to prevent the quick single.
But he lets himself down off the last ball, allowing Conway to break loose of the shackles and launch a shot. One bounce and FOUR. They needed that.
Lawrence Booth: England all over New Zealand at the moment, with Jordan’s economy backing up Woakes’s wickets. This really is a dream start for their defence of 166.
The England support in the crowd absolutely loving this. Devon Conway next in.
Applause for Chris Woakes at the end of the over – two wickets for eight.
The TV cameras pick out the former Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce watching on in the stands.
More good bowling by Woakes, who has been bang on with his line.
And that’s not how you play the scoop shot, Kane Williamson! Just never got enough on it, attempting to play it over his shoulder and away behind.
Adil Rashid rushes round and has all the time in the world to take the catch. A key wicket!
Chris Jordan to bowl for England and begins with two dot balls to Williamson. New Zealand’s skipper then almost chops on with the third.
Livingstone with a ball juggling act on the rope to prevent a boundary after he slipped over a little bit. Just five off Jordan’s first over.
Lawrence Booth: That’s a huge moment in this game. Martin Guptill is one of the New Zealand batsmen who could have hurt England. To get him third ball is a pinch-me moment for Chris Woakes.
Kane Williamson in much earlier than he wanted… But he’s often the man for a crisis.
The skipper almost nicked his first ball – a beauty from Woakes.
Sam Billings chases the ball down just before the rope but Williamson off and running with three. Quite an eventful over to set us off!
It’s the dream start for England!
I think that ball stuck in the pitch a little bit, Guptill misjudged it, tried to recover and flick it, took the leading edge and it just loops up into the safe hands of Moeen Ali.
Martin Guptill signalling his intent straight away! Width from Woakes and that wasn’t wise, clears the fielder’s leap and runs away for FOUR.
A very swift turnaround as is the norm in T20 cricket and all of a sudden Chris Woakes is out there pacing out his run up.
8.35 runs per over required for New Zealand to book their place in the final
Well, as Lawrence says, both sides very much fancying their chances from here.
Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan the batsmen who held that together for England there.
England will be happy with that, I reckon. They added 99 off the last 10, and Moeen Ali played a great hand, building on the good work by Malan. To take 40 off Trent Boult was a minor triumph – those are his most expensive figures of the tournament. But how about the dew? Time to find out…
That should have been a wicket off the last ball but Phillips lost his footing and dropped Morgan’s mis-timed attempts at a maximum.
They can run two and so England reach 166. Is that enough? It really is hard to know.
But you sense they would have gladly accepted 166 at the toss when put into bat.
Neesham with a wide bowling at Morgan for the first time.
He can’t get it away and there’s a slight misfield and they can run two.
Stand and deliver for Moeen Ali and that’s his first World Cup half-century!
Perfect placement, toned down the power and FOUR. He quickly salutes the crowd but still business to be done.
Here’s the skipper Eoin Morgan – but he’s not on strike.
Plenty of pressure on Jimmy Neesham then…
First ball is fine and Ali can only get a single.
Second one is a wicket – it’s the end of Livingstone! He tries to go up and over, looking for the boundary, but picked out the hands of Mitch Santner.
Every run precious now for England but Boult executes the slower ball to perfection and Moeen can’t connect.
Nine off the over in the end. One over left – can England push up towards the 170 mark?
Boult shuffling his cards. Yorker, then a wide one that Livingstone gets away for a couple.
He then manages to beat Martin Guptill’s dive on the rope for FOUR and that is the 150 up for England. It may finally be happening for them.
Both Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali trying to back up that six but Adam Milne keeping a lid on things. Three singles in a row.
A swing and a miss by Livingstone off the penultimate ball…
…But not off the last one. He connects and it’s HUGE! Perfect stance, straight back over the bowler’s head, right out the slot and almost into the stands.
That’s class from Moeen Ali! It was right in the slot but Mo uses the bounce to hoist it to the fence. 81 metres. SIX.
Sodhi returns with a couple of dot balls before Moeen squeezes a shot away for a couple. Good running by England and who knows that could prove crucial.
So three overs left, England with plenty of wickets remaining, and they need to start smashing a few boundaries now or risk falling short.
Ish Sodhi to bowl himself out. One wicket for 21 so far to keep England in check.
Not that time, though. Moeen Ali certainly got hold of that one! an enormous 92 metre SIX over the leg side. Could not have hit that any cleaner.
England want more of that!
Very good response by Tim Southee after he was smacked for six off the first ball of his final over. Shank from Livingstone but it falls into no man’s land.
The tall figure of Liam Livingstone strides out to the middle. Can he provide the ammunition to get England to a really good total?
Off the mark with a single right away.
Good riposte, sir.
I think Malan planned to send Southee over the rope for the second successive ball. But this time a nick off the underside of the bat and taken by Devon Conway.
Malan has batted well and held this England innings together with 41 runs off 30 balls, But it’s his time to go.
What a shot! Tim Southee returns for his last over and Dawid Malan, well settled by now, launches him for the first SIX of the match.
Trent Boult returns for the third of his four overs. Moeen Ali launches the ball high into the air, not timed at all, but he gets away with it. Just short of Tim Southee, who had to run in a long way and can’t quite get the catch on the dive.
Mo responds by changing his bat – is that a measure of his frustration.
Maybe it worked as he finds the boundary at last off the next ball. Clipped off the toes. A valuable FOUR for England.
It could well be ‘go time’ for England…
Malan returning the ball to Adam Milne with interest. The bowler sticks out a hand as a reflex action but he’d have done very well to take that.
Malan then picks out Glenn Phillips in the deep for the umpteenth time.
It’s still not really happening for England but they have brought their 100 up with six overs left and just two wickets down.
Lawrence Booth: This is a proper tussle: 100 for 2 off 14 overs means neither side has made a break for it yet. But England will need a minimum of 60 off the last six to feel like reasonably content with life.
England on course for a total of 145 at the moment. 10 an over gets them to 164 which may well be competitive if they can make it.
A third over for Ish Sodhi.
Moeen Ali strides down the wicket to hint he’s going to launch one but fakes and nicks the single.
Runs proving hard to come by off the spinner and there’s a real danger England are getting bogged down in these middle overs as many feared could happen.
Sodhi certainly lucky with a couple of deliveries but the last ball delivers a welcome boundary for England thanks to Moeen’s clip. They needed that.
The England run rate just ticks over seven an over.
Superb fielding by Phillips this time to prevent yet another Malan boundary through extra cover. Phillips is certainly fast! Think he has a sore elbow after that one.
Malan performing his role as the glue of England’s innings as he does so often. Steadily accumulating the runs. He now needs a partner to tee off and England will have a good score.
Malan just loves that area. Takes the high road this time, lofting his shot over the ring of fielders and timed nicely to reach the rope for another FOUR into the same gap.
Phillips, last seen being checked by the physio after falling over the LED sponsor boards around the pitch, now on to bowl at Moeen.
England could do with someone showing a bit of aggression now and there’s Malan timing another cover drive brilliantly for FOUR. He plays that shot so well.
I think I’d rather be in New Zealand’s position at the moment: 67 for two after 10 overs feels slightly tentative from England, especially with Buttler one of the two wickets. But Malan has played a couple of nice drives over and through extra cover, and Southee and Boult have already sent down five of their eight overs. England will be looking for 90-100 off the last 10.
New Zealand’s sixth bowler Jimmy Neesham into the attack for the first time as we approach the midway point. Can England make some gains off him?
Malan wafts and doesn’t connect. He then edges and it just evades the dive of Conway. A semi-chance as it comes off the gloves.
Glenn Phillips goes tumbling over the sponsor boards as he tries in vain to cut off a cracking drive for Malan which brings a much needed FOUR.
The score predictor hovering around the 160 mark. New Zealand have successfully driedthe runs up in the last few overs.
It will be drinks at the mid-point of England’s 20 overs.
New Zealand have the prize wicket and they have the chance to turn the screw here.
Two left-handers at the crease as Moeen Ali comes to the middle.
Just singles for most of the over but the more settled batsman, Dawid Malan, manages to loft one up and over and it just beats the diving Trent Boult to the rope.
Now then… have New Zealand got the prize wicket of Buttler here?
Sodhi onto his pads after Buttler misses the attempted reverse sweep.
England’s opener sends it upstairs. But there’s no way out – it’s a huge wicket for New Zealand! No bat involved – Buttler hoping against hope it was spinning away but no chance. Too low and going on to hit off stump.
Lawrence Booth: So, England will have to conjure up a match-winning total without a decisive contribution from Buttler, who made 29 before missing a reverse sweep off Sodhi. It feels like a huge moment in this game, as Moeen Ali walks out at No 4.
No sense England are about to cut loose just yet. Keep wickets in hand and go for the big blast towards the end of the innings?
More rotation in the New Zealand bowling – it’s Mitchell Santner. Can England get after him?
Malan certainly tries but doesn’t quite connect the first time. Buttler does manage it though, nice reverse sweep to the boundary for a FOUR that relieves some of the pressure that had been building up on England. Brings up their 50 too.
A bit of spin as soon as the powerplay comes to a close. It’s Ish Sodhi to present Buttler and Malan with something else to think about.
Couple of singles then Malan almost comes a cropper, beaten as he tries to chop it away.
Good start by Sodhi – five singles off the over.
So how will England respond to that setback? It’s certainly stemmed the flow of runs.
Milne doing well with his line. Buttler pulls him away but the boundaries are pretty big here.
40 runs on the board after the powerplay.
Next in for England is Dawid Malan. Off the mark with a single.
No real surprise that Trent Boult is taken out the attack after that last, expensive over. Here is Adam Milne for the first time this evening. Two wickets in the World Cup so far.
And there’s the third! Right away.
The umpires will check it was a clean catch by Kane Williamson, however.
That doesn’t take too long – replays clearly show a clean and quite brilliant low, diving catch by the Kiwi captain and they have their breakthrough. The bowling change certainly worked.
Lawrence Booth: Bairstow never really got going in that innings, but then he has barely got going all tournament: his top score remains 16. There was one strong lofted four off Southee, but he didn’t time a lot other than that. Having said that, New Zealand needed a wicket after five overs from their two big guns – Southee and Boult – had failed to deliver.
Lots of throaty encouragement for Jonny Bairstow from the England fans in the crowd. He rounds off another decent over with a punched single to mid-off.
England have successfully countered the early control New Zealand managed to find.
Bairstow certainly got hold of that! The first sign of real aggression from the Yorkshireman, back over Southee’s head for FOUR more.
You suspect Southee might not be using up all of his quota in these opening overs after all.
Wild from Trent Boult. Some extreme bounce from somewhere, short and that clears Buttler’s head, also Devon Conway behind the stumps and away for another boundary.
Turning into an expensive over for New Zealand, this one. England’s pair can even scamper a second run after a direct hit deflected the ball off at a different angle.
Lawrence Booth: England needed a good over after managing just 13 off their first three – and Buttler, their man of the tournament, provided it, helping to take 16 off Boult, who helped matters with a bouncer that disappeared over everyone’s heads for five wides. Buttler carrying this opening partnership so far.
Full length dive by Kane Williamson but no stopping that from Jos Buttler. A lovely drive down the ground for FOUR.
Boult then unwisely goes wide and Buttler was gobble that up for another boundary. Right out the middle of the blade.
Signs that England are stepping on the gas.
The stadium in Abu Dhabi can’t even be half full. England flags dotted around the place. The ‘sheep pens’ on the grass bank that have been set up for social distancing – things remain quite right in Abu Dhabi – being used.
A tight over from Southee – just a single off it.
This is England’s lowest score after three overs in the tournament – the next lowest was 21 against West Indies!
Here’s Trent Boult looking for an early breakthrough for New Zealand.
Wicked bit of swing from his third ball before it straightened off the seam and Bairstow tries to drive it and just misses.
Plenty in the early stages to encourage both these New Zealand bowlers.
Even off the last delivery, which Bairstow slashes at with the inside edge and it rolls away to the boundary. Fortune smiled on him there.
Late away swing for Tim Southee and Buttler was just tempted to have a go at it. The ball zips past the outside of his bat.
But he gets the measure of the final ball of the over, Buttler with the neat clip that rolls off to the boundary. That was the shot of a man in good nick.
Lawrence Booth: You don’t get much swing in this part of the world, so Tim Southee’s eyes will have lit up as he beat Jos Buttler’s prod with the game’s fourth ball. But the sixth was on his pads, and Buttler tucked the first boundary. An early point made by both teams.
Buttler pulls the first ball and gets off the mark with a single.
Jonny Bairstow back at the top of England’s batting order in place of the injured Jason Roy, who pulled up running that single against South Africa the other day.
Always fast between the wicket and they steal a sneaky single.
A reminder that England will be batting first and we’re about to see England’s openers Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow come up against Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
England certainly would have bowled first as New Zealand chose to do but can they get a big total on the board?
The players take the knee before the start as has become customary throughout the tournament.
Time for the action to get underway then as the two teams emerge into a far from full Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The orange glow of the sunset just fading away to the west as the players line up for the two national anthems.
First up it’s God Defend New Zealand and then God Save the Queen.
For England to be within two games of holding both white-ball World Cup titles six years after hitting rock bottom in Adelaide with a 50-over defeat by Bangladesh is an extraordinary achievement.
And to have reached Wednesday’s Twenty20 semi-final against New Zealand here after losing so many players to injury — Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran before the tournament, Tymal Mills and Jason Roy during it — is phenomenal, too.
This, of course, is a rematch of that great day at Lord’s in 2019 with the same two wonderful captains in charge. We all recognise how good Eoin Morgan is but I think Kane Williamson is almost as good, if not as good. It is a battle of two of the greats.
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New Zealand’s left-arm quick is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker among seamers, with 11 at just 10 apiece and a superb economy-rate of 5.84. He is Kane Williamson’s go-to man under pressure – Boult bowled the super over in the 2019 World Cup final against England – and has learned plenty from six seasons at the IPL. Watch out for early swing.
An ideal foil to Boult, with his right-arm seam and swing, and clever use of the crease. No New Zealander has more than his 106 T20 wickets, and his World Cup economy-rate of 5.70 is the best of any seamer to have bowled at least 20 overs. Consistency personified: in five Super 12 matches, he conceded 25, 26, 24, 15 and 24.
A late replacement for the injured Lockie Ferguson, Milne – a T20 Blast regular with Kent – provides pace and accuracy, although he has been limited to two wickets in four games. But his four overs for 17 helped stifle Afghanistan in Sunday’s must-win game at Abu Dhabi.
His leg-breaks, delivered from a great height, have been one of New Zealand’s main weapons in the UAE, and his wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli set them up for the crucial early win over India. Has played with Moeen Ali at Worcestershire, so at least England have an inside track.
Backs up Sodhi with his accurate left-arm spin: four overs for 15 helped slow India to a crawl in Dubai. Took 11 wickets in five T20s when England toured New Zealand in 2019-20, and has only been collared once all tournament, when two overs against Afghanistan cost 27.
Very much New Zealand’s sixth bowler, though he got through his full quota of four overs against Afghanistan, and conceded just 18 off three against Pakistan in Sharjah. His medium-pace is accurate – but hittable because of it.
New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi marks his run up
Our cricket correspondent and Wisden Editor Lawrence Booth is out in Abu Dhabi for us and will be offering his insight as the match unfolds.
He writes: ‘First blood to New Zealand, frankly. Whichever captain won the toss was always going to bowl first because of the threat of dew later on, which means Jonny Bairstow will be straight in the game as the injured Jason Roy’s replacement at the top of the order.
‘Sam Billings, as expected, comes into the middle order, but otherwise England are unchanged from the side that lost to South Africa.
‘New Zealand line up as they did in their final group game against Afghanistan. Not much of a crowd yet, though there is a slight middle-of-nowhere feel to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.’
New Zealand have won the toss and opted to field.
Captain Kane Williamson puts England in to bat first and confirms they will have the same team as their last match.
1 Martin Guptill, 2 Daryl Mitchell, 3 Kane Williamson (C), 4 Devon Conway (wkt), 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Adam Milne, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult.
England captain Eoin Morgan admits he would have done the same as his counterpart and bowled first. One change as Sam Billings comes in for the injured Jason Roy.
As expected, Jonny Bairstow moves up the order to open alongside Jos Buttler.
1 Jos Buttler (wkt), 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Eoin Morgan (C), 5 Liam Livingstone, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Sam Billings, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood
We will find out shortly who is doing what as the captains assemble in the middle for the toss.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m a bit superstitious, so I’m glad England got that defeat by South Africa out of the way in the group stage.
From memory, I’ve never seen a team go through an entire Twenty20 tournament without losing a game, so it bothered me a bit until then.
It’s helped me sleep a bit easier at night ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against New Zealand. The law of averages tells you that even the very best teams are due at least one loss in a competition like this, as they are beaten once every four or five games.
How often have you seen teams go through a group stage unbeaten and then lose a game they shouldn’t have?
READ THE FULL COLUMN BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW
England made largely serene progress through their Super 12 group, recording some statement results along the way.
They skittled West Indies for just 55 in their opening game and crushed Australia by eight wickets, while also gaining the more expected wins over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
It meant qualification for the last four as group winners was secured despite South Africa’s 10-run win over them in the fifth and final match.
New Zealand started off with a five-wicket defeat to Pakistan in Group Two but were flawless thereafter. A crunching eight wicket win over India in their second game, having restricted their opponents to 110 for seven, was the stand-out.
Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan were also overcome to secure second spot behind Pakistan.
By Aadam Patel
It must be a struggle to find a blank page on the passport of Liam Livingstone, who in recent years has clocked up thousands of air miles, going from white-ball competition to white-ball competition in his quest to become the best cricketer he can be.
Now, he hopes, that experience can help fire England to success at the T20 World Cup.
The 28-year-old has spent more than 300 nights of the past year in bubbles and hotel rooms while playing for England, Lancashire, Birmingham Phoenix, Rajasthan Royals, Peshawar Zalmi and Perth Scorchers. Livingstone insists he is living his dream but there are times he has found it difficult.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW
Martin Guptill of New Zealand in the nets ahead of the match
England’s Adil Rashid bowls during the warm-ups
Rashid and Moeen Ali of England warm up
By Lawrence Booth in Abu Dhabi
England will never tire of reaching the business end of World Cups, but their presence in Wednesday’s T20 semi-final against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi has taken no one by surprise.
Back in March 2016, when these two sides met at the same stage of the tournament on a sultry night in Delhi, England won at a canter, before being famously upended by Carlos Brathwaite at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
But if there was a sense of chaotic fun about their progress then, their passage to the last four now has felt like nothing more than an inevitable part of the white-ball revolution set in motion six years ago by Eoin Morgan.
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Jonny Bairstow, expected to open today, heads out for some batting practice
England’s Chris Jordan inspects the pitch
England’s Jos Buttler (L) and Reece Topley warm up
As England attempt to unite cricket’s two white ball world titles, maybe it’s fate that they are required to overcome New Zealand, the opponent they overcame so thrillingly at Lord’s in the 50-over final in 2019.
These two familiar white ball foes meet a stage earlier this time with a place in Sunday’s T20 World Cup final, where either Pakistan or Australia await, the prize for the victor.
England stormed through their Super 12 group, winning their first four matches, but then suffered a loss to South Africa in their final game.
Eoin Morgan and his team will hope the inevitable tournament off-day is now out of the way and they can push on to glory.
England have been hampered by injuries – already without Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, they go into battle today without opener Jason Roy and bowler Tymal Mills.
But such is their remarkable strength in depth, they can tinker with the order and shuffle the pack and not look any weaker for it.
They remain the favourites to overcome New Zealand today but know it’s far from a foregone conclusion.
Welcome along to our live coverage of this T20 World Cup semi-final from Abu Dhabi.
Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand and Chris Jordan of England chat during the warm-ups