The New Zealand cricket team faced a heart-breaking blow during the finals of 2019 World Cup in England, by losing to the hosts, even after scoring the same amount of runs.
The Black Caps took the game to the Super over where they were asked to chase a steep target of 16 runs. However, Neesham did well to take his team towards the cusp of a heroic victory with two required in the final delivery and Martin Guptill on strike.
On the final ball, after hitting the ball towards square leg, Guptill completed the first one quickly but fell short of the crease by a narrow margin.
Earlier, Neesham took New Zealand to the Super over with a bullet throw from long-on towards Trent Boult, to dismiss Mark Wood. Ben Stokes threatened to chase down the total single-handedly.
Neesham also kept his team in the contest with a spell of 3/43. In his seven overs, he scalped the wickets of Eoin Morgan, Liam Plunkett and Jofra Archer.
“I think first and foremost you’ve got to take care what’s in front of you. Being at one of the hotspots in the field during the death overs (at long-on), I sort of knew that it will be a high chance I had to do something in the field before I batted,” Neesham told ESPNCricinfo.
“When we got out to bat, obviously getting 16 in a Super Over to win is almost unreachable. So, the pressure was pretty well off because I guess no one is going to blame you for not getting 16. It was all about making contact as long as possible but yeah 1 run, 20 centimetres short? Will think about those 20 centimetres for the next 50 years,” added the all-rounder.
The Kiwis were well aware of the fact that the boundary count would come into play. In the end, England was awarded the World Cup title due to the greater number of boundaries scored in the match.
The rule was then scrapped after receiving major criticism from the entire cricketing fraternity. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s attitude and ambassadorship was praised highly, as he took the unfair loss right into his chin.
“I was padding up in the change room for the Super Over. I hadn’t been mentioned at any point before that. Although having said that initially I had actually won a match on boundary count in a Super Over before in my career so it wasn’t much of a surprise for me,” Neesham said.
“We had a bit of a group discussion after the 50-over game was tied. The boys had to get back into the changing room, have a bit of a drink and come back again. We just had a discussion in the middle and being a couple of senior guys, it came to be Me and Guppy,” Jimmy concluded.