“Pure Class”: Cricket Fraternity Hails New Zealand On T20 WC Final Berth

Kane Williamson-led New Zealand became the first team to reach the final of the ongoing T20 World Cup on Wednesday after winning a close game against England in Abu Dhabi. In the chase of 167 runs, the Blackcaps were reduced to 107/4 in the 16th over but opener Daryl Mitchell stood tall against the English bowlers. Mitchell added a quickfire 40 runs with Jimmy Neesham for the fifth wicket and remained not out till the end with his impressive 72-run knock. After this victory, many former and current cricketers, including the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akthar, veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, former India opener Virender Sehwag, and many more have praised New Zealand for the way they played in ICC tournaments in the last five years.

Here are a few reactions:

“What a brilliant game of cricket. #NewZealand once again winning hearts along with winning the game. Great knock by Mitchell who was well supported by Conway & Neesham. Bairstow’s incident at the ropes reminded me of what happened with Boult in the 2019 finals,” wrote Sachin Tendulkar on Twitter.

Virender Sehwag called the England-New Zealand semi-final as the “best game” of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

“Best game of the World Cup. Wow Daryll Mitchell. Jimmy Neesham the gamechanger. New Zealand simply sensational. Congratulations on reaching the finals NZ,” Sehwag wrote on Twitter.

Irfan Pathan focused on the fact that Blackcaps didn’t have many big names but still are a “solid” team.

“New Zealand has 0 super star player and 11 solid team players. Well done,” Pathan wrote on Twitter.

Ashwin and former India batsman VVS Laxman hailed Daryl Mitchell’s spectacular batting.

“What a knock this has been from Daryl Mitchell #ENGvsNZ” tweeted Ashwin.

“Spectacular finish by Mitchell! Got to his fifty, almost unnoticed let Neesham tee off and then finished off the chase in style! New Zealand again make an ICC tournament final, nothing but admiration for them. Hard on England, but the Kiwis were just a little better on the night,” wrote VVS Laxman on Twitter.

Former India opener and domestic giant Wasim Jaffer also lauded New Zealand for making the most ICC finals in recent years.

“Brilliant stuff from @BLACKCAPS. They have qualified for the final in all 3 @ICC events: 2019 WC, 2021 WTC, & now #T20Worldcup. And please don’t call this as NZ punching above their weight etc, it would be a disservice to this team that is as good if not better than most,” Jaffer wrote on Twitter.

Former Pakistan pace sensation Shoaib Akhtar called New Zealand “pure class” after their remarkable comeback in the match.

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“Wow. Pure class. What a Comeback,” wrote Akhtar on twitter.

“What an amazing Comeback by New Zealand. What a performance. Focus & determination at its best,” he said in another tweet with a video expressing his view on the Kiwis’ win over England.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra emphasised the phrase that actions speak more than words, referring to New Zealand’s recent form in ICC events.

“Actions > Words. #NZ is a perfect example of the same. Winners of the World Test Championship. Finalists of the fifty over and T20 World Cup. These are the last three ICC events. Might end up with two ICC trophies in one year…massive respect,” tweeted Chopra.

This was New Zealand’s maiden entry in the final of the T20 World Cup. The Williamson-led side will play the final in Dubai on November 14 against the winners of Thursday’s second semi-final between Pakistan and Australia.

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