SPORTS

England Win, New Zealand In Final

England beat New Zealand by two runs but failed to reach the Twenty20 tri-series final against Australia. Captain Eoin Morgan hit 80 not out to help England post 194-7, ensuring
20 Feb 2018 11:11
England Win, New Zealand In Final
Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan of England celebrate the wicket of Martin Guptill of New Zealand during the International Twenty20 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand on February 18, 2018. Photo: Zimbio

England beat New Zealand by two runs but failed to reach the Twenty20 tri-series final against Australia.

Captain Eoin Morgan hit 80 not out to help England post 194-7, ensuring they needed to restrict New Zealand to less than 175 to go through on net run rate.

The hosts surged past that mark thanks to Colin Munro’s 57 from 21 balls and Martin Guptill’s 62 off 47 at Hamilton.

Tom Curran’s superb final over meant the Kiwis fell short in a thriller, but England bowled poorly early on.

New Zealand face Australia in the final at Auckland tomorrow because of a superior net run rate over that of England, who ended a run of three consecutive defeats with their first win of the series in the final group game.

England will next play New Zealand in a five-match one-day series, with the first game at Hamilton on February. 25

“It is a great result and I thought it was our best performance of the T20 campaign,” Mor­gan old BBC Sports.

“We didn’t do enough to go through to the final, which is unfortunate given the way we performed but we can’t complain.

We haven’t played good cricket throughout this campaign, we’ve been slow out of the traps, slow to get our skills up to the level that Australia and New Zealand have, which is dis­appointing because we have a huge amount of talent in the changing room.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson told Sky Sports: “Colin Munro was brilliant at the top of the order. Spin on that surface was probably the biggest challenge. England’s spinners were clever throughout that period. Credit to how England played tonight.”

Knowing they had to win by at least 20 runs, England ultimately squandered the chance to reach the final with a careless bowling display as New Zealand reached 77-0 after the opening six-over powerplay.

David Willey and Curran continually strayed onto Munro’s pads, allowing the opener to smash several sixes deep into the stands over square leg.

He reached his half century off only 18 balls with his seventh six before he was removed for 57, holing out to Willey at deep mid-wicket off Adil Rashid.

Rashid bowled superbly, taking 1-22 off his four overs, while recalled all-rounder Liam Dawson also conceded just nine off his first three overs of slow left-arm before leaking 18 from his fourth.

Dawid Malan took some punishment but the part-time leg-spinner also bowled Guptill on a turning pitch, suggesting Morgan might have introduced his spinners earlier than Rashid in the seventh over.

With Munro gone, Guptill took charge, back­ing up his century in Friday’s record-break­ing defeat by Australia with another fifty – this one more measured before he kicked on to reach 50 off 44 balls.

Although the final was soon out of reach, England’s seam bowlers finally learned from the approach of New Zealand’s Tim Southee (2-22), bowling a more consistent line but var­ying their pace and sending down yorkers.

-Edited by Grace Narayan

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