Daryl Mitchell scored an unbeaten half-century to take New Zealand to 152 for four against Pakistan in the first semifinal of the T20 World Cup at the SCG on Wednesday. 

Opting to bat, New Zealand batters found the going tough on a used SCG track as they struggled to connect the ball because of the slow nature of the surface. Mitchell (53 not out off 35) and skipper Kane Williamson (46 off 42) resurrected New Zealand’s innings with a fifty-plus stand. 

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Shaheen Shah Afridi was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers. He picked two wickets for 24 runs. New Zealand slumped to 49 for three in eight overs when Mitchell and Williamson joined hands. 

While Williamson played the role of anchor, mostly dealing in ones and twos with occasional boundaries in between, Mitchell was at his aggressive best.

The duo brought up their fifty-run stand in just 36 balls but failed to force the pace towards the end as boundaries and sixes were hard to come by.

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With James Neesham (16 not out), Mitchell stitched an unconquered 35 off 22 balls but failed to give the final flourish as Pakistan bowlers made a strong comeback.

Mitchell, who was New Zealand’s hero in the 2021 T20 World Cup semifinal against England, swung across the line to bring his fifty in 32 balls. His wife Addy and child were cheering for him in the stands. 

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

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Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Muhammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah.