New Delhi, Oct 29 (SocialNews.XYZ) New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham was reminded of his ODI World Cup 2019 final experience after his team fell short of five runs in a chase that could have been monumental against Australia on Saturday.
Neesham's superb 58 off 39 balls almost propelled New Zealand to a remarkable comeback. However, a crucial run-out, when he was desperate second, ended his innings on the penultimate ball. With six needed off the final delivery, Mitchell Starc held his nerve, denying Lockie Ferguson as New Zealand finished at 383/9 in reply to Australia's 388/10.
In the 2019 World Cup, Martin Guptill attempted a second run in a similar to secure the win but was run-out in a similar fashion, resulting in a tied game. Neesham was at the non-striker’s end back then. Eventually, Australia won the final on the basis of a boundary countback.
"Actually, that (2019 final) was the first thing I thought of when I was coming off, that it's going to look very, very similar. I mean that's the nature, isn't it? You want to be desperate in those situations, and you'd much rather get run out on your stomach than on your feet," Neesham was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo.
Back in Manchester four years ago, Neesham found himself on the opposing side of a nail-biting finish against West Indies. In that game, he delivered a fantastic 49th over, successfully containing the powerful Carlos Brathwaite and ultimately assisting New Zealand in securing a victory, also by a margin of five runs.
Reflecting on that memorable night when he thwarted Brathwaite, and asked about whether the recent game was hard to come to terms with, Neesham jokingly said: "Well, I'm not 6'6" and bowling 145, so it's probably more impressive when I get out of it."
"You worked for six and a half hours during the day, and it comes down to potentially two deliveries. And four years ago, we worked for two months, and it came down to one delivery.
"It's just the nature of the game. Obviously, I'm probably closer towards the back-end of my career than I am to the front. So yeah, it doesn't pay to stress too much on the results. I think everyone wants to win and everyone's desperate to win, especially in world tournaments, but that can't dictate how you want to play the game," Neesham added.
New Zealand’s next take on South Africa on Wednesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune.