T20 World Cup: 'If England had to lose to anyone, I'm glad it's New Zealand'

It was New Zealand at least.
They are nice. This team would have won the 50-over world championship at the home of cricket, England, two years ago, but for a narrow margin.

The Black Caps were praised for their performance in the face of a heartbreaking defeat after that final.

The Men's T20 World Cup is next. England were again the favorite, and the highest-ranked team. New Zealand were again seen as the dark horses despite being world Test champions and having one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament.

The semi-finals would be between the two teams. It could not be any other.

This time the outcome was different. New Zealand won the battle against 13-2 and grew into the game. Chris Jordan's third run was a complete slam, but New Zealand scored 23 runs. They reached the final with six balls left.

It was also fitting that Jimmy Neesham won the game for New Zealand.

After failing to see New Zealand in the super over, Neesham, the 2019 Lord's batter, fell to his haunches and rested his head on his bat.

His 11-ball 27 was the catalyst that brought New Zealand to life. The run-chase became manageable before Daryl Mitchell won the win with six balls remaining.

Neesham sat in his chair as staff and players celebrated winning runs. After the game, Neesham remained seated and stared out at the pitch.

In two years, a lot can happen.

New Zealand cricketers are loved by almost everyone. They are a relaxed group that has been playing together for many years through all the age groups. They are led by Kane Williamson who is the quietest of all the bunch and plays their cricket with quiet determination.

They are not self-effacing, but that does not mean they give up. They are competitive. They compete.

This isn't like England losing to Australia. Australia considers beating England a national sport. This is a loss to the nice guys who could, with a little luck, have lifted the 50-over World Cup in England's place.

Even Chris Silverwood, England's coach, had to admit that it wasn't too difficult to lose to New Zealand.

They are a wonderful bunch. They are a great bunch. I wish them every success in the final. He said that while it doesn't help them, it's also great for them."

New Zealand will be competing against Australia or Pakistan in Sunday's final. They have the chance of lifting the trophy for the very first time.

They may even be able to count on the support of England fans, whose hopes were dashed Wednesday night...

Lee: If the United States has to lose at this World Cup to any other nation, it will be New Zealand. All in all, a class act.

Jack Rule: I would rather lose to New Zealand than any other team. They deserve it, and England should support them to win. It will be so great to see the two World Cup finalists of 2019! It should be.

Percy: It's a shame we lost, but New Zealand is brilliant. I am a deeply decent person who plays the game as it should be played.