DURHAM – England secured their semi-finals spot in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup after they defeated New Zealand by 119 runs at the Riverside Ground here on Wednesday.
On the other hand, New Zealand has slipped on the fourth position and if Pakistan manages to defeat Bangladesh by a big margin on July 5, they might topple the Kiwis to reach in the semi-finals.
Chasing a target of 306 runs, New Zealand had a very poor start as Henry Nicholls was given lbw off Chris Woakes’ delivery and was sent back to the pavilion on duck in the very first over of the inning.
The opener Martin Guptill was then accompanied by skipper Kane Williamson on the field. However, their partnership also did not last long as Guptill (8) became a victim of Jofra Archer in the sixth over.
Ross Taylor then came out to bat and formed a crucial partnership with Williamson. Both struck regular boundaries and shrugged off the pressure created by the English bowlers.
Both added 47 runs on the board before Williamson (27) got run out in the 16th over. In the next over, Taylor too got run out which halted his 28-run inning.
Tom Latham and James Neesham then took the charge. Both Latham and Neesham played steadily but latter was bowled, after scoring 19 runs, by Mark Wood in the 26th over. With Neesham’s dismissal, half of the New Zealand batsmen were sent back to the pavilion when they had just 123 runs on the board.
Colin de Grandhomme then came out to bat but he too failed to leave a mark on the field as he gave away an easy catch to Joe Root off Ben Stokes ball.
Grandhomme’s wicket brought Mitchell Santner out on the field. Santner played cautiously along with Latham and avoided risky shots. Both kept the scoreboard running and Latham completed his half-century.
However, soon after completing his half-century, Latham was caught behind, off Liam Plunkett’s delivery in the 39th over, after scoring 57 runs. Tim Southee then took the charge in a hope to save the sinking New Zealand. In the next over, bowled by Wood, Santner was given lbw which ended his 12-run inning.
New Zealand then needed 140 runs from 64 balls and had just two wickets in hand. Matt Henry (7) was the next batsman but he was bowled by Plunkett in the 44th over. Trent Boult then joined Southee and both only managed to add just five runs on the board as Boult was stumped off Adil Rashid’s delivery.
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow powered England to post a challenging total of 305 for the loss of eight wickets after electing to bat first.
England got off to a fantastic start as Bairstow and Jason Roy stitched a 123-run partnership for the opening wicket. With regular boundaries, the hosts of the tournament dominated New Zealand before James Neesham got a big breakthrough. Neesham dismissed Roy for a well-compiled 60.
Root came out to join on-fire Bairstow as the duo inched closer to take England past 200 runs. However, Trent Boult pulled back things as he got Root caught behind for 24. In the 32nd over, Matt Henry got the big wicket of Bairstow for 106, reducing England to 206/3.
Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan tried to carry the momentum set by the openers but the Kiwis did not allow the English batsmen to open their arms. Boult returned and sent Buttler back to the pavilion for 11, bringing Ben Stokes to the crease. However, Mitchell Santner did not allow Stokes to settle in and dismissed him for 11, leaving England at 248/5.
Chris Woakes joined his skipper Morgan but Neesham removed Woakes cheaply for four. Soon after, Henry returned and got the big wicket of Morgan for 42, reducing England to 272/7 after 46.1 overs.
Towards the end Adil Rashid (16) and Liam Plunkett (15*) chipped in to take England past 300-run mark. For New Zealand, Neesham was the pick of bowlers as he returned with figures of 2-41.
Brief scores: England 305/8 (Jonny Bairstow 106, Jason Roy 60, James Neesham 2-41) beat New Zealand 186/10 (Tom Latham 57, Ross Taylor 28, Mark Wood 3-34) by 119 runs.