Daryl Mitchell has been one of the very best contributors in the New Zealand side and has made a difference with his bowling and batting. Besides delivering some important knocks early on with the bat, he made a difference on the field multiple times. He did it once again in their final group stage game against Afghanistan.
New Zealand have been absolutely astounding across every department in this tournament, especially with their ground fielding. Once again, with Afghanistan trying to scamper as many runs as they can towards the end, Rashid Khan‘s not-so-well-timed pull shot went towards the mid-wicket boundary. Mitchell was lining up under it, only to realize the ball might go well behind him.
He leaped to take a catch, took a blinder with one hand, and just as he realized he would touch the boundary rope, he pulled it back inside the field of play. The way he stretched himself to reach the ball, the precision to catch it and the awareness to release it, all reeks of the brilliance of Mitchell under a pressure cooker moment.
Here’s the video of that outstanding effort from Daryl Mitchell
What an Absolutely brilliant effort that was … 😱😱😱🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/TeIaSXp8Mc
— Taimoor Zaman (@taimoorze) November 7, 2021
Afghanistan took a brave step after winning the toss, and elected to bat first, despite knowing the record of chasing teams in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Trent Boult provided the Kiwis a great start, and they lost 3 wickets inside the powerplay. Their top four struggled to get runs, and secured just 27 runs in 42 balls collectively.
Najibullah Zadran made a stellar impact for the side, chipping in with a 48-ball 73, which included 6 fours and 3 sixes. He was positive with his approach, and got on top of the New Zealand bowlers more often than any other player on the team.
The team batting first could manage only 124 runs batting first, and put themselves under immense pressure to defend this total.