After a match-winning show in the T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final against England, Jimmy Neesham now sets his eyes on the ultimate prize. The all-rounder sure of there being “a bigger outpouring of emotion”, should New Zealand beat Australia in the tournament final in Dubai on Sunday, November 14.
New Zealand needed 60 off 29, when Jimmy Neesham walked in to bat in the first T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. It’d soon become 57 off 24, suggesting the balance had shifted England’s way, before the left-hander tonked 27 off 11 to turn tables around and set it up for a well-set Daryl Mitchell to finish the chase off with an over to spare.
As Mitchell directed one off Chris Woakes towards the fine-leg boundary for winning runs, the New Zealand dug-out erupted, but Neesham held back his celebrations, watching on seated with his hands folded.
He was, perhaps, already visualizing the tournament final to be played on Sunday.
“It’s a situation worthy of celebrating I guess — winning a semi-final — but you don’t come halfway around the world just to win a semi-final,” Neesham told New Zealand Cricket. “We’ve got our sights pretty firmly set on the game in a few days’ time... I’m personally, and we as a team, are not getting ahead of ourselves. One game to go and I’m sure there will be a bigger outpouring of emotion if we manage to get across the line."
Job finished? I don’t think so. https://t.co/uBCLLUuf6B— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) November 10, 2021
Neesham’s 11-ball blitz included three sixes and a four, with him being particularly severe on Chris Jordan in the 17th over of the chase which yielded 23. The all-rounder looked back at the game-turning passage.
"I just said to Daz [Daryl Mitchell], I hit CJ [Chris Jordan] for a six second ball and Daz sort of came down and said: 'what do you think?' I just said I'm going to try and hit every ball for six. It doesn't always come out of the middle but chunked a couple and got enough to get over the rope. Yeah, ended up doing reasonably comfortably in the end," he said.
Neesham emphasised on the significance of Mitchell’s 47-ball 72*, which he felt was perfectly paced.
"I think that's the situation you want to be in when you open the batting," he said. "You just want to be still there having faced 40-50 balls at the end and he was obviously seeing it very nicely and striking it well. It was just a case of hoping we hadn't left the run too late, but like I mentioned before plenty of time to spare in the end."
New Zealand will take on trans-Tasman rivals Australia in the tournament final in Dubai on Sunday, and Neesham backed his teammates to get themselves all geared-up ahead of another title clash.
"Look, I think we're experienced at it," he said. "We've done so well and so consistently in tournaments across five or six years. We know how to I suppose hit the reset button and put a win or a loss behind us pretty quickly. We've got pretty robust strategies around how to prepare for games with scouting, planning, and all that kind of stuff. So, those strategies will all kick over the next couple of days and we will get back on the training paddock tomorrow I think and prepare as best as we can."