Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson’s prediction was spot on that New Zealand will beat England in the T20 World Cup semifinal in a thriller at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Stadium.
Watson felt the loss of opener Jason Roy would be a big blow for England which would unsettle the team - along with the loss of bowler Tymal Mills as he was a specialist in the death overs - and that is what happened.
He felt the wicket was two paced and that Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler could not hit through the line which did not help England who failed to get off to a flying start. He believed Moeen Ali should have come in to bat at number three as he would have given them impetuous as he goes hard from ball one and his intentions would have changed the New Zealand bowling plans whereas Dawid Malan is good but not as destructive as Ali.
Luck was in
England just could not play the gungho style because of the two paced wicket and of course they missed Roy big time and as a result they were restricted to just 166. But England felt they would win when they got Guptill and Williamson out but New Zealand had enough fire power especially in Jimmy Neesham who changed the game in the 17th over when 23 runs were scored off Chris Jordan. He felt they knew their luck was in when Jonny Bairstow’s knee touched the rope after taking a catch. It was given as a six when it could easily have been out and he said the unpredictability is the beauty of this game. It was a similar moment to the 2019 World Cup final between the same teams when Trent Boult thought he had caught Ben Stokes but he stepped on the boundary and it was given as a six and that was the turning point in that match but New Zealand will feel justice was done last night.
Watson believed in Daryl Mitchell kept his nerve until the end and Neesham’s knock rubbed off on him as he guided the Kiwis home to yet another final.