Four years ago, Jimmy Neesham was in the crowd at Eden Park when Grant Elliott — the man who pipped him to the last place in the 2015 World Cup squad — hit Dale Steyn for six to seal New Zealand's spot in the final.

This week, Neesham did the job himself, taking the last wicket in the toppling of India.

"I certainly preferred the other game than four years ago," Neesham laughs. In 2015, "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."


Far more than the final wicket, Neesham's contribution will be remembered for his extraordinary catch to dismiss Dinesh Karthik with his outstretched left hand.

"You see it come off the blade and try and stick a hand out and see if you get something on it," he says.

"And potentially I lost my composure a little bit after taking it — but that's the passion you see in a must-win semifinal."

With his 213 runs at 35 apiece, 12 wickets at 20 and electric fielding, Neesham is a contender to be an all-rounder in any tournament team.

"It's been a bit of a surreal run so far," he says.

New Zealand's propensity to win close games — with Neesham taking the final wicket against India and the West Indies, and scoring a crucial 25 runs in the two-wicket victory over Bangladesh — suggests a side at one with themselves.

"The feeling overall is of calmness. We just stay in our own bubble. There's obviously a lot more external stuff, and talk in the media and amongst your friends back home.

"But really, the game stays the same. It's still a bat and a ball, and I think we scout well, we prepare for opposition differently each game.


"I'm not sure you could have played the way we played in 2015 this tournament," said Neesham. "The grounds are so different, the conditions are so different."