WELLINGTON: Trent Boult grabbed two wickets on successive balls to help New Zealand to a 12-run win over England in their Twenty20 International tri-series match at the Westpac Stadium on Tuesday.
Left-arm seamer Boult bowled Chris Jordan and then Liam Plunkett on the final two deliveries of the 18th over to reduce the visitors to 168 for eight in their pursuit of 197 for victory.
Adil Rashid kept out the hat-trick delivery on the first ball of the final over but there was too much for the leg-spinner and Chris Wood to do and they finished on 184 for nine.
“It was a must-win for us in terms of the series,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who scored 72, said in reference to their seven-wicket loss to Australia in their opening match. “This is a very strong England side and we had to play some really good cricket.”
Australia have already qualified for the final at Eden Park in Auckland on Feb 21 after winning all three of their matches so far.
Earlier, Williamson silenced his critics with the top-score of 72 from 46 balls as the skipper anchored New Zealand’s 196 for five while sharing in an 82-run second-wicket partnership with Martin Guptill, who scored 65 from 40 balls.
Mark Chapman, who has also played international cricket for Hong Kong, and debutant Tim Seifert then did what they had been brought into the side to do with quick-fire cameos in the middle order.
Chapman scored 20, while wicket-keeper Seifert hit two sixes in his six-ball innings of 14 to take the hosts to the equal highest Twenty20 International score on the ground.
“We were able to build partnerships throughout that gave us momentum and the two debutants were outstanding,” Williamson added. “They showed their power which allowed us to get an above-par total.”
On a personal note, his captain’s knock was also rewarding after he had come under fire for a recent lean spell in the shortest form of the game.
“There have been a number of occasions recently when I’ve wanted to contribute more, so it was nice to spend some time in the middle,” he said.
Alex Hales got England’s run chase off to a fast start with 47 from 24 balls before Dawid Malan gave England hope for victory as he scored 59 from 40 deliveries. Malan’s dismissal in the 17th over with the visitors needing 39 runs for victory, effectively ended their chances.
“It was maybe 10 to 15 runs too many ... and we didn’t bowl as well as we could have,” England captain Jos Buttler who was standing in for the injured Eoin Morgan, said. “We got a fantastic start with Alex and that partnership with Malan, we needed to just extend a bit longer then we didn’t get those cameos in the middle order.”
New Zealand face in Australia the next game of the series in Auckland on Friday.
M.J. Guptill c Plunkett b Rashid 65
C. Munro c Billings b Wood 11
K.S. Williamson b Jordan 72
C. de Grandhomme c Jordon b Rashid 0
M.S. Chapman c Billings b Wood 20
L.R.P.L. Taylor not out 1
T.L. Seifert not out 14
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-5, W-7) 13
TOTAL (for five wkts, 20 overs) 196
FALL OF WKTS: 1-39, 2-121, 3-121, 4-169, 5-181.
DID NOT BAT: M.J. Santner, T.G. Southee, I.S. Sodhi, T.A. Boult.
BOWLING: Willey 4-0-36-0; Wood 4-0-51-2 (3w); Jordan 4-0-34-1 (2w); Plunkett 4-0-33-0 (2w); Rashid 4-0-36-2.
J.J. Roy c Boult b Southee 8
A.D. Hales c de G’homme b Sodhi 47
D.J. Malan c Boult b Santner 59
J.M. Vince run out 10
J.C. Buttler c Southee b Sodhi 2
S.W. Billings c Sodhi b Santner 12
D.J. Willey run out 21
C.J. Jordan b Boult 6
L.E. Plunkett b Boult 0
A.U. Rashid not out 8
M.A. Wood not out 5
EXTRAS (B-2, LB-2, W-2) 6
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 20 overs) 184
FALL OF WKTS: 1-14, 2-79, 3-95, 4-109, 5-129, 6-158, 7-168, 8-168, 9-172.
BOWLING: Boult 4-0-46-2; Santner 4-0-29-2 (1w); Southee 4-0-30-1 (1w); Sodhi 4-0-49-2; Munro 2-0-11-0; de Grandhomme 2-0-15-0.
RESULT: New Zealand won by 12 runs.
UMPIRES: W.R. Knights (New Zealand) and S.B. Haig (New Zealand).
TV UMPIRE: P. Wilson (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: J. Srinath (India).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Kane Williamson.
NEXT MATCH: New Zealand vs Australia (Auckland), Friday.
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018