It was a must-win game for England and New Zealand as both the teams had lost their first match in the Super-8s, England due to their poor batting and the kiwis due to some poor captaincy by Ross Taylor. The loser would have to win their last match in this phase by a huge margin and hope that things go their way.
Taylor won the toss and chose to bat bringing in Doug Bracewell in place of Adam Milne. The powerful Kiwi batting line-up was undone by Steven Finn as he dismissed Guptill, Bendon McCullum and Ross Taylor for low scores and finished with his career best bowling figures of 16-3. Despite some controversial umpiring decisions that went against him, James Franklin anchored the New Zealand innings with a half century off 33 balls with a little cameo from Nathan McCullum, taking the total to 148-6. The kiwis had some hope knowing the batting woes of England.
Coming in to chase, England looked set for another collapse as they lost their first two wickets in 7 overs, both wickets falling to spinners. But Luke Wright and Eoin Morgan made sure to not repeat the mistakes as they shared a match-winning partnership of 89 runs. Luke Wright went on to score his career best innings of 76 runs off 43 balls including 5 huge sixes. He couldn’t see England through himself as he was dismissed by Doug Bracewell in the 19th over. The damage had been done though as England sailed home in the same over with a 6-wicket victory. Luke Wright was rightly declared man of the match.
England now face the home team and the favourite, Sri Lanka, on Monday and will have to beat them to qualify for the Semi Finals. Whereas New Zealand face West Indies the same day, they will have to beat the Windies by a huge margin and hope that Sri Lanka defeat England to qualify for the Semi-Finals.
The blog was first published on the defunct KheloPakistan.com.