The big day has arrived. It’s the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 final between New Zealand and Australia tomorrow (Sunday 15th November 2021) in Dubai from 10.00 a.m. The two teams beat England and Pakistan respectively to reach the final stage.
The champion team will walk away with US$1.6 million and the ICC Trophy, the losing finalist will take home US$800,000, while the two losing semifinalist will each collect US$400,000.00.
In the second semifinal played on Thursday 11th in Dubai, Australia defeated tournament favourites Pakistan by 5 wickets with 6 balls remaining.
Batting first Pakistan posted 176 for the loss of 4 wickets with Mohammad Rizwan top scoring with 67, Fakhar Zaman 55, and Babar Azam 39. Bowling for Australia Mitchell Starc 2 for 38, Adam Zampa 1 for 20 and Pat Cummins 1 for 30.
Needing 177 for victory, Australia was in a spot of bother at one stage being 5 for 96 after 12.2 overs with David Warner (49), Aaron Finch (0), Mitchell Marsh (28), Steven Smith (5) and Glenn Maxwell (7) all back in the dug house, but an 81 runs partnership for the sixth wicket between Marcus Stoinis 40 not out from 31 deliveries and Matthew Wade 41 not out from 17 deliveries that included 2 fours and 4 sixes (Man of the Match) ensured Australia punched their ticket to the final.
Bowling for Pakistan, Shadab Khan 4 for 26 and Shaheen Shah Afridi 1 for 35.
Australia captain, Aaron Finch: “It was a great game of cricket. The way Matthew Wade held his nerve was outstanding, (and) that partnership with Marcus Stoinis was crucial. I just got my feet in a tangle first up. It happens; in T20 cricket you get some good ones every now and then. I thought we were pretty sloppy today, we dropped a couple, though they were tough ones. But what we showed today was that you need all your players, everyone in your 15 to contribute.
According to Finch, “There’s no dew, but the lights take effect and the wicket speeds up a bit. I was hoping to lose the toss and put a total on the board and defend it, but it was good to chase that target down in the end.”
Meanwhile, in the first semifinal played on Wednesday 10th, New Zealand defeated tournament front runners England by five wickets with 6 balls remaining when they chased down 167 runs to punch their ticket into the final. Their first in ICC T20 championship.
England scored 166 for the loss of 4 wickets with Moeen Ali scoring 51 not out, Dawid Malan 41 and Jos Buttler 29. Bowling for New Zealand, 1 wicket each to Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi and James Neesham.
Requiring 167 for victory, the Kiwis reached their target for the loss of 5 wickets with 6 balls remaining. Daryl Mitchell not out 72 (Player of the Match), Devon Conway 46, and James Neesham 27. For England, Liam Livingstone picked up 2 for 22, Chris Woakes 2 for 36 and Adil Rashid 1 for 39.
Following the England encounter, New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson said, “We’ve played each other on a number of occasions, knew it would be a great game of cricket, and really chuffed with the heart that was shown throughout that performance.
Outstanding from Mitchell at the top but cashing in on the matchups [was crucial]. His character stood out today, an incredible knock, not done a lot at the top of the order.
“T20 cricket is a game of small margins, depending on the surface, short side, can all be match-defining. We had wickets in hand which was really important. Neesham came out and hit the ball hard and changed the momentum of the game. Ultimately the deciding factor.”
As to the final: “The guys have been watching most of the games. It’ll be a fantastic match, highly competitive. We know we have another challenge coming up and we’ll chance our focus after tonight.”
The teams for the finals
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee.
Australia: Aaron finch (captain),Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, (Vice Captain),Josh Hazelwood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams.