- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
As his teammates celebrated wildly around him, New Zealand star Jimmy Neesham couldn't bring himself to completely let go just yet.
Daryl Mitchell smashed an unbeaten 72 while Neesham was hailed as a "momentum changer" as the Kiwis beat England by five wickets to reach the T20 World Cup final on Wednesday.
'HELLUVA KNOCK': Usman Khawaja firms for Ashes recall
Chasing 166 for victory, New Zealand were in deep trouble at 2-13 and 4-107.
However Neesham turned the semi-final on its head with an 11-ball 27 to help achieve the target with one over to spare in an Abu Dhabi thriller.
With 20 needed off the final 12 balls, Mitchell smashed Chris Woakes for two sixes and a four before his 47-ball blitz triggered wild celebrations in the New Zealand dug out.
However one man who didn't join in the celebrations was Neesham, who stayed sitting in his chair with no emotion on his face.
The scars of previous heartbreak were clear to see for the all-rounder after England's controversial win over New Zealand in the 50-over World Cup final in 2019.
Jimmy Neesham didn't move. pic.twitter.com/jbZrrQS4zX
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 10, 2021
England controversially won on a boundary countback after the two sides were still tied after a super-over in the final two years ago.
“Kids, don’t take up sport. Take up baking or something. Die at 60 really fat and happy," a devastated Neesham tweeted soon afterwards.
So for Neesham the job won't be complete and the demons exorcised until they are crowned champions on Sunday.
The 31-year-old was spotted still sitting in that same chair long after the semi-final had concluded on Wednesday, taking in everything around him.
— Aadya Sharma (@Aadya_Wisden) November 10, 2021
— Abhi🧘♂️ (@SamCurranFC07) November 10, 2021
— CricketMAN2 (@man4_cricket) November 10, 2021
— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) November 10, 2021
— 30 Beat Khan (@Hoo_Carez) November 10, 2021
Jimmy Neesham still glued there 👀 ! pic.twitter.com/ISxhXuOXvr
— Adrenaline Rush (@theanantkashyap) November 10, 2021
New Zealand stun England to reach T20 World Cup final
New Zealand will now face either Australia or Pakistan in Sunday's final.
"We knew it would be a great game of cricket," said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
"I am really chuffed with the heart that was shown throughout that performance.
"It was outstanding from Mitchell at the top. His character stood out, an incredible knock.
"T20 cricket is a game of small margins. Jimmy came out and hit the ball hard, and changed the momentum of the game.
"Ultimately the deciding factor."
Mitchell, the son of former All Blacks rugby coach John, said he was delighted to reach the final.
"It was a bit of a whirlwind, but nice to get the job done and move onto the big dance," he said.
"It was cool to have dad there in the stands. Obviously with the bubble life I can't catch up with him, but I'm sure I'll have a chat to him on the phone tonight and he'll be pretty chuffed."
Neesham took the bowling head on as he smashed Chris Jordan for two sixes - one of them nearly caught at the boundary by Bairstow but his knee touched the rope - and a four to get 23 runs from the crucial over.
He finally fell to Adil Rashid's googly, with skipper Eoin Morgan holding on to a catch at extra cover.
"Full credit to Kane and his team, they outplayed us today," said Morgan.
Earlier, Moeen Ali smashed an unbeaten 51 to steer England to 4-166 after being invited to bat.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.