England beat New Zealand by 20 runs in the 33rd match of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Gabba in Brisbane.
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England had won the toss and opted to bat first. England started off slow with the bat in hand, Jos Buttler looked scratchy in the initial few deliveries he faced and later ticked the scorecard around. England got to 48 runs in the powerplay.
Liam Livingstone took on the bowlers for some time but could only score 20 runs from 14 balls. Jos Buttler was the one hanging from one end, and the wickets then started to tumble. Buttler was runout at the late end of the innings and credit to Tim Southee and Kane Williamson’s sheer intelligence and match presence.
With some lusty blows from Harry Brook, Sam Curran in the end, England managed 179 runs on the board. New Zealand needs 180 runs to win from 20 overs. Stay tuned as the chase begins shortly within 5 minutes.
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Coming into the run chase of 180, New Zealand didn’t start well as they lost both of their openers, Devon Conway and Finn Allen, quickly inside the powerplay. Kane Williamson and the hero from the last match, Glenn Phillips (62 off 36), stitched a partnership of 91 runs for the third wicket. To be exact, it was the latter who was smashing the English bowlers all around the park while Williamson (40 off 40) was holding an end up. Ben Stokes broke this stand by dismissing the Kiwi skipper in the 15th over to put the pressure back on New Zealand.
Once they lost their captain, New Zealand lost their way, irrespective of the big hitters Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell. Both these batters came and went in no time as Glenn Phillips felt the pressure at the other end of needing 49 off 18 balls. Sam Curran and Chris Wokes bowled brilliantly in the death and took England over the line.
Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner did hit a few runs, but that could only reduce the margin of the defeat as England restricted the Blackcaps to 159/6 in their allotted 20 overs. For England, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes scalped a couple of wickets, while Mark Wood and Ben Stokes picked one wicket each.
With this win, England move to the second spot in the points table and the pressure is on Australia now as they need a bigger win against Afghanistan in their final group game.