AUCKLAND: England snatched the Twenty20 International series against New Zealand in dramatic fashion in Auckland on Sunday, with a super over required in the rain-truncated fixture to break the deadlock in scenes reminiscent of the World Cup final four months ago.
A Chris Jordan boundary on the last ball of the England innings brought the tourists level with New Zealand’s 146 pushing the rain-shortened match at Eden Park into a tiebreaking super over.
Jonny Bairstow, whose thumping man-of-the-match innings of 47 enabled England to catch New Zealand after they lost three early wickets, partnered Eoin Morgan in a 17-run stand in the match- and series-deciding over.
But unlike the World Cup final, when even the super over was tied, this time New Zealand finished nine runs short to give England the win and take the series 3-2.
“New Zealand’s total was pretty imposing,” Bairstow said. “To try to chase down 150 was tough but a lot of the guys played in the T10 last year and said we’re not far off here. If we can get within striking distance and with the short boundaries we’ve got a chance.”
Bairstow said the close finishes in recent matches against New Zealand had been nerve-wracking.
“We don’t want to keep this happening, I don’t think anyone wants to keep that going,” he said. “But it just shows how close the sides are and how close they’ve been throughout the series.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Tim Seifert opened their super over and was out of six after four balls while the hard-hitting Martin Guptill stood unemployed at the non-striker’s end.
In a match reduced to 11 overs per side, Guptill and Colin Munro gave New Zealand a flying start after they lost the toss and were sent into bat.
Guptill peppered the short Eden Park boundaries with five sixes and three fours and needed only 19 deliveries to reach his 50 before being removed by Adil Rashid one ball later.
Munro had four sixes and two fours in his 46 off 21 balls.
England were rocked early in reply with Trent Boult removing Tom Banton (7) and Eoin Morgan (17), while Tim Southee accounted for James Vince (1) to have the tourists at 39 for three after three overs.
Sam Curran pulled England back into the game with 20 runs off Scott Kuggeleijn’s sole over and Bairstow belted three sixes off Ish Sodhi in the next over.
The pair put on 61 in 24 balls before they fell on consecutive deliveries with Bairstow caught behind on the last ball of a Jimmy Neesham over and Curran (24) stumped on the first ball of Mitchell Santner’s next over.
In the final over of regular play, England needed 13 from the last three balls by Neesham when Jordan went to the middle and belted six, two, and four to set up the tiebreaker.
The right-arm seamer then expertly defended the touring side’s super over score of 17, taking a wicket while giving away just eight runs.
“There was nothing between the sides in the 11-over game. And in the super over I thought the standout was Chris Jordan,” England captain Eoin Morgan said at the presentation. “The guy is extremely calm under pressure and delivers.”
The first of two Tests between New Zealand and England starts in Tauranga on Nov 21.
M.J. Guptill c Banton b Rashid 50
C. Munro c Vince b S. Curran 46
C. de Grandhomme c Vince b Mahmood 6
T.L. Seifert b T. Curran 39
J.D.S. Neesham not out 1
L.R.P.L. Taylor run out 3
EXTRAS (LB-1) 1
TOTAL (for five wkts, 11 overs) 146
FALL OF WKTS: 1-83, 2-93, 3-120, 4-143, 5-146. DID NOT BAT: M.J. Santner, T.G. Southee, S.C. Kuggeleijn, I.S. Sodhi, T.A. Boult,
BOWLING: S.M. Curran 2-0-33-1; T.K. Curran 2-0-30-1; Jordan 2-0-28-0; Adil Rashid 3-0-34-1; Mahmood 2-0-20-1.
T. Banton lbw b Boult 7
J.M. Bairstow c Seifert b Neesham 47 J.M. Vince c Kuggeleijn b Southee 1
E.J.G. Morgan c Kuggeleijn b Boult 17
S.M. Curran st Seifert b Santner 24 S.W. Billings not out 11
L. Gregory c Southee b Santner 6
T.K. Curran c de G’homme b Neesham 12
C.J. Jordan not out 12
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-7) 9
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 11 overs) 146
FALL OF WKTS: 1-8, 2-9, 3-39, 4-100, 5-101, 6-107, 7-134. DID NOT BAT: Adil Rashid, S. Mahmood.
BOWLING: Boult 3-0-35-2 (2w); Southee 2-0-22-1 (3w); Santner 2-0-20-2 (1w); Kuggeleijn 1-0-20-0; Sodhi 1-0-22-0 (1w); Neesham 2-0-25-2. RESULT: Match tied; England won Super Over to win five-match series 3-2. UMPIRES: C.B. Gaffaney (New Zealand) and W.R. Knights (New Zealand). TV UMPIRE: C.M. Brown (New Zealand). MATCH REFEREE: A.J. Pycroft (Zimbabwe). MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Jonny Bairstow.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Mitchell Santner.
FIRST MATCH: Christchurch, England won by seven wickets.
SECOND MATCH: Wellington, New Zealand won by 21 runs.
Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2019