Brendon McCullum took guard even as Mitchell Starc marked his run-up. It was the final of the 2015 World Cup and their nerves would’ve jangled. In the third delivery, Starc spearheaded a bullet like yorker which ripped the bails off McCullum’s and that was a start of an abysmal day for New Zealand. Australia won the game by seven wickets at the iconic MCG in Melbourne and went on to win the championship for the fifth time. Prior to that, the Black Caps thumped South Africa by four wickets (D/L Method) at the Eden Park in Auckland courtesy of Grant Elliot’s composed 84.
As the Kiwis made their maiden final of the mega event, the fans from the stands expressed delight. One of them was James Neesham, who is set to be a part of New Zealand’s second World Cup final ever against England at the Lord’s in London. However, this time around, he won’t be a spectator, rather a warrior, who’ll be marching on to the field, donning the national jersey.
It was hard not to get swept up
It’s been four years, but Neesham is still reeling from the dreadful feeling of the loss versus Michael Clarke’s Aussies. Nevertheless, the Auckland-born all-rounder is all pumped up and is in search of redemption and is eager to script history at the Home of Cricket.
“I certainly preferred the other game than four years ago. It was hard not to get swept up in it as a Kiwi cricket fan. Now, four years later to be sitting here before a final at Lord’s – potentially a redemption final I guess from that game four years ago – is really pleasing,” the 28-year-old Neesham was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.
Even as the Williamson, Taylor, Boult and Ferguson have grabbed the limelight, Neesham has silently soaked the pressure from the other bowling end. Having scored 213 runs and picking up 12 wickets, the cricketer has stepped up in crunch moments. Versus India, he plucked the leather out of thin air to send Dinesh Karthik back.
Neesham also nipped out Yuzvendra Chahal to pull the curtains down on India’s campaign. Last but not the least, how could one forget the dismissal of Carlos Brathwaite at the Old Trafford in Manchester that saved the day for the Kiwis in the humdinger against the Windies.