The English have done it, they have overcome many odds to beat an impressive New Zeland side, comfortably in the end to book their place in their second World T20 final. Here are the talking points of the game held at Kotla.
Blinder From Roy
Chasing 154 in a semi-final isn’t an easy job, especially against a side in top bowling form, but Englishman Jason Roy hardly made any fuss of it. The hard-hitting opener went berserk, initially toying with Kiwi New ball bowlers and then steering the English ship with compatriot Joe Root to great effect. A 48 ball 77 is a match-winning knock on most days in T20 cricket, but stands out on a day where the stakes are as high as a place in a world tournament final. England will be more than jubilant going into their second World T20 final, seeing one of their young guns on the cusp of glory.
Sodhi- New Zealand’s take away of the tournament?
In an almost blemishless tournament for the Kiwis, Indian-origin spinner Ish Sodhi, might just have come of age. With wickets in the tournament, Sodi partnered well with Mitchell Santner to help his side storm into the Semis. Running into an inspired English side was probably the only mistake committed by the impressive leg-spinner. Playing in his native country, Sodhi adapted to the conditions magnificently and coped up with pressure like an experienced campaigner and could well be a player New Zealand could turn to in the coming years.
Stokes, Jordan at it again.
In a tournament with mixed fortunes for the pacemen, the duo of Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan have worked wonders on dry or flat wickets in this tournament. Strangling the Kiwi innings midway onwards till the end, the seam bowlers ensured that England didn’t have a 160 plus target to chase on a Kotla wicket that was a decent cricketing wicket compared to the ones that were on display in the tournament. After successfully choking the West Indies to reach the Semi Final, Jordan put brakes on New Zealand’s momentum at the death. All- rounder Ben Stokes returned with figures of 3/28, against a strong Kiwi side, not to mention the occasion was a world cup semi-final.
Root- on the brink of well-deserved silverware
Watching Joe Root bat is like watching the artistic strokes of a painter as he works on his masterpiece. Coming into bat with 66 runs to get at almost a run a ball. Root not only added a calming influence, but guided the young Roy, just when he looked to be running out of steam. He held on only to see yet another ballistic compatriot of his finish the game. The Yorkshireman might just get his hands on the ultimate prize with his best years ahead of him.
Kiwi heads should be held high
Yet another impressive tournament for the Kiwis, but ending in agony. New Zealand is a nation that play their heart out, be it Rugby or cricket and that was definitely evident in this edition of the world T20. Seeing their talismanic former skipper Brendon McCullum leave didn’t hinder the Kiwi motivation as they went from mere dark horses to the ‘team to beat’ in the world T20. From beating India on a turner to getting past their trans-tasman rivals in Australia, New Zealand were well in line to take the ultimate prize, but the game does have bad days to offer and the Kiwis were the unfortunate recipients. However, they must move on, for they will back again to surprise the cricketing world. They should leave with their heads held high.