ABU DHABI: Opening batsman Daryl Mitchell said it was “wonderful” to play a key role in New Zealand’s five-wicket triumph over England to reach the Twenty20 World Cup final for the first time.

After Jimmy Neesham turned the semi-final on its head with an 11-ball 27, Mitchell hammered an unbeaten 72 to help New Zealand chase down their target of 167 in 19 overs in Abu Dhabi.

It will be Kane Williamson’s third world final in two years, following losing to England in the 2019 50-over World Cup and then defeating India in the inaugural Test tournament in 2021.

“Look, we’re a bunch of Kiwis,” says the group. “We’re a little country with only five million people, so we’re obviously really happy to be representing it,” Mitchell, the man of the match, said.

“In recent years, we’ve had some success. We’ll celebrate the victory tonight, but we’ll move on fast after that.

“We know we have a final on Sunday, and whoever we face should be entertaining.”

On November 14, New Zealand will face either Australia or Pakistan in the title match in Dubai.

Mitchell is competing in his maiden T20 World Cup after making his international debut in 2019. He hammered four fours and four sixes in his 47-ball blitz.

Mitchell smacked Chris Woakes for two sixes and one four after Neesham’s wicket, sparking jubilation in the dugout.

Mitchell stated, “It’s definitely a wonderful honour to represent my country at a World Cup.” “I would have laughed at you if you said this five, six years ago, so to be sitting here right now is incredible.”

With Martin Guptill and skipper Kane Williamson back in the pavilion, New Zealand was in trouble at 13-2.

Mitchell and Devon Conway (46 runs) added 82 runs for the third wicket, but runs were still hard to come by as England’s bowling options were varied.

When Neesham came in to replace Glenn Phillips, New Zealand had slid to 107-4. The pair put on 40 runs off 17 balls, changing the direction of the game.

Mitchell stated that he never thought the target was out of reach.

“It may seem strange, but it never felt like it was out of our reach,” Mitchell said.

“I believe we understood there were going to be matchups there, especially with the smaller side border on one side, that would suit us in the end.”

“I felt the way ‘Neesh’ came out and dominated that one over really established the tone going into those remaining couple, so I give him my hat off.” He knocked it out of the park.”

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