England Crush Black Caps' Finals Dreams

Publish Date
Thursday, 31 March 2016, 7:17AM
Jos Buttler of England keeps England ahead. Photo / Getty Images

Jos Buttler of England keeps England ahead. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand's world T20 adventure is over; England were too good, crushing them by seven wickets in their semifinal in Delhi today.

Kane Williamson's team, the only unbeaten team through pool play, made 153 for eight, having been sent in, but it wasn't enough.

England, on the back of a ferocious 78 off 44 balls from opener Jason Roy, got to the target with 17 balls to spare, finishing on 159 for three.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi gave New Zealand a glimmer of hope when he removed Roy and captain Eoin Morgan in consecutive deliveries in the 13th over.

However Joe Root, the tournament's top runmaker from the Super 10 stage onwards, and wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler got the job done in style. Root was 27 not out at the finish, Buttler 26 off just 16 balls.

England will play either the West Indies or hosts India in the final in Kolkata early on Monday (NZT).

They meet in the second semfinal in Mumbai early tomorrow (NZT).

New Zealand, having lost the toss for the first time, knew they had left runs out on the park at the halfway point.

The pitch was two-paced and had uneven bounce but even so New Zealand would have felt confident of getting past at least 160.

Their key man at the top of the order, Martin Guptill, departed to the 13th ball for 15, driving and edging left armer David Willey to Buttler.

The best batting of the innings came from captain Kane Williamson and belligerent lefthander Colin Munro. They shared a 74-run stand in 49 balls for the second wicket before Williamson fell to offspinner Moeen Ali's third ball.

Williamson, on 32 off 27 balls, shaped to hit the ball towards mid wicket but instead it skied back behind Ali, who ran back and took a good catch. Williamson was looking good and it was a key moment for England.

Munro, who'd produced a superb reverse sweep for six off legspinner Adil Rashid, was largely responsible for New Zealand grabbing 34 runs off the eighth to 10th overs. At halfway, New Zealand were well positioned at 89 for one.

The second block of five overs were worth 51 to New Zealand; overs 10 to 15, however went for only 32 as Munro and Corey Anderson, finding his range, were caught up against the spinners.

Munro sliced a catch to third man, after his best effort of the tournament, 46 off 32 balls; but England were outstanding with the ball in the final stages.

Ross Taylor, limping after completing a run, was caught at extra cover; Luke Ronchi and Anderson, having clubbed one six, baseball style into the crowd, departed to consecutive full tosses by seamer Ben Stokes and when he had Mitchell Santner caught at long off, had taken three wickets in six balls.

New Zealand managed 16 fours and three sixes in their innings. New Zealand lost five for 19 in the last 22 balls of the innings.

Seamer Chris Jordan was outstanding, while Christchurch-born Stokes had the magic touch at the right time.

Stokes finished with three for 26; Jordan took one for 24 off his four overs; Ali one for 10 off his two and Willey one for 17 off his two.

New Zealand were in trouble early in England's reply as Roy and Alex Hales smoked 67 off the first six overs.

Durban-born Roy was in thunderous form, taking 16 off the opening over from Anderson, 13 off Mitch McClenaghan's first over and 13 from Adam Milne's first.

The ground wasn't big enough as the pair put on 82 in 8.2 overs.

Sodhi and Grant Elliott slowed things down but New Zealand badly needed wickets.
Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi missed a stumping off Elliott to remove Hales, but the tall batsman departed shortly after, holing out to long on.

Sodhi lifted New Zealand spirits when he bowled Roy, then had Morgan lbw next ball.

But it wasn't nearly enough. England needed 30 off the last 30 balls and Buttler hurried them home, belting Sodhi for 4, 6, 6 in three deliveries then finished the match with another six off Santner. He scored 23 off his last five balls as England celebrated.

Williamson admitted New Zealand hadn't got enough runs.

"I think at the halfway stage - and credit to England's bowlers for the way they pulled it back - I knew we were a little bit short," he said.

"If we'd got to the 180 mark, which was quite realistic, it would have been a much closer game.

"We were certainly beaten by a better team today. They bowled far better than us and certainly came out very aggressively, which we knew they would.

"They are a dangerous team, they certainly showed that today and throughout the tournament."

Williamson paid credit to ''a fantastic innings" by Roy, whose philosophy to the job was pretty simple.

"I just went out and gave it a crack and it came off," he said.

"Our bowlers did well to keep (New Zealand) down to that.

"The whole team has got that licence to go out and be free with their skills."

NZ Herald