One of the tournament favorites, England, were up against the most consistent team in ICC events, New Zealand. Since the 2015 ODI World Cup where they made it to the finals, New Zealand have appeared in knock-out stages in three out of the four, including the 2021 T20 WC, four out of five ICC events. Only in the 2017 ICC Champions trophy they failed to qualify. Electing to field first, New Zealand bowlers struck early as Jonny Bairstow drilled a drive straight to Kane Williamson at mid-off. Jos Buttler, their highest run scorer as well departed soon after in the ninth over. But, Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali stitched a 63-run partnership for the third wicket to rebuild the innings. A 24-ball 40-run partnership between Moeen and Livingstone propelled their score 166/4.
In reply, Chris Woakes wreaked havoc at the start as he removed Martin Guptill and Williamson in his back-to-back overs. Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell steadied the ship with an 82-run partnership for the third wicket. After the dismissal of Conway in the 14th over, Glenn Phillips followed him in the 16th over. Requiring 60 runs in the last five overs, Jimmy Neesham played a blinder as he scored 27 runs off just 11 balls. Daryl Mitchell finished it off in the penultimate over after he clubbed 20 runs off Woakes and made it to their first ever T20 WC final with an over to spare. Here are a few notable stats from the first Semi-final:
Buttler etched his name in the record books
One of the most destructive players in the shortest format of the game, Buttler has been in sublime form in this edition of the tournament. En route to his knock of 29 off 24 deliveries, the wicket-keeper batter reached a new milestone as he scored the most runs for an England player in a single edition of the T20 World Cup. The 31-year old amassed 269 in six innings at an average of 89.7, a strike rate of 151.1, including an unbeaten century against Sri Lanka in the Super’s stage of the competition. Joe Root is second on the list, with 249 runs in the year 2016, followed by Kevin Pieterson's 248 runs in 2010.
NZ achieve their highest chase
An unbeaten 72 off 47 deliveries studded with four boundaries and four massive hits over the fence propelled New Zealand to a five-wicket win after chasing 167 runs for the loss of five wickets. The Kiwis have been one of the most consistent sides at the international level and produced an all-around performance to get over the line against a formidable England outfit by a comprehensive margin and sealed their place in the summit clash of the competition. The target of 167 runs was also the highest successful target chased by the Black Caps in the T20 World Cup. 152/4 against the Netherlands in Chittagong in 2014 is second on the list.
The late flourish
After losing two of their most experienced players Guptill and Williamson, in the powerplay, the Black Caps scored at an economy rate of 5.8 runs per over and crawled their way to 58/2 in 10 overs. Despite a slow start, the middle order of the side unleashed strokes all around the ground and smashed 109 runs in the second half, which is the second-highest score in overs 11-20 for New Zealand in a successful run chase in T20Is. They had scored 113/2 against Sri Lanka in 2019 at Pallekele, which is the highest for them in this phase.
Chris Jordan carted for 23 runs
With 57 needed off the last four overs, Neesham displayed power-hitting of the highest caliber as he smashed 23 off the 17th over bowled by Chris Jordon. With two sixes and one boundary combined with a couple of singles and doubles, the southpaw amassed 23 runs. This is the most runs conceded by an England bowler in this edition of the WC. Woakes in his game against South Africa was carted 21 runs in the 16th over, the highest before.