Under pressure to stay alive in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, England came up with a fantastic all-round effort to down New Zealand by 20 runs in a Group 1 Super 12 clash at The Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday, November 1.
Batting first after winning the toss, half-centuries from skipper Jos Buttler and Alex Hales took England to a competitive 179/6. Glenn Phillips (62 off 36) played another fine hand for New Zealand. His efforts were in vain though. Chris Woakes (2/33) and Sam Curran (2/26) stifled the Kiwi batting to hold them to 159/6
Chasing 180, New Zealand lost Devon Conway for three. The Kiwi opener tried a scoop over fine leg off Woakes, but could not get his timing right. Buttler dived full-length to his right to complete an excellent catch.
Woakes could have had Finn Allen as well, but Harry Brook put down a tough chance on the boundary. Allen slapped a slower ball over wide midwicket with one hand and Brook chased the ball. He got both hands, but the ball burst through and, worse, went for six.
The batter, however, did not last long. Having made 16, he mistimed a slower ball from Curran to Ben Stokes, who came running from deep midwicket to complete the catch.
Phillips and Kane Williamson added 91 for the third wicket to keep the Kiwis in the hunt. Phillips enjoyed some luck early on as he edged a delivery from Liam Livingstone while looking to cut cut. The ball hit Buttler’s gloves but did not stick. There was a potentially game-changing moment in the 10th over as Phillips chipped a gentle catch off Adil Rashid to cover, but Moeen Ali put down the sitter.
Having survived the nervous times, Phillips smacked Mark Wood for a six over long-on and went on to heave Rashid for consecutive maximums, racing to a 25-ball 50. At the other end, though, New Zealand skipper Williamson never quite got going. He perished for a run-a-ball 40, miscuing a cut to short third man off Stokes’ bowling. Williamson’s crawl meant that the chasing side needed 57 off the last five overs.
James Neesham (six) perished cheaply again, pulling Wood to deep midwicket. Daryl Mitchell (three) was then caught at wide long-on, following a failed attempt to take on Woakes. New Zealand’s last hope went with Phillips, who lofted Curran straight to long-on in the 18th over.
Buttler, Hales fifties lift England to 179/6
England captain Buttler (73 off 47) and Hales (52 off 40) struck impressive half-centuries to lift their team to a competitive total of 179/6. The Englishmen batted first after winning the toss, after which the openers added 81 for the opening wicket.
Hales dominated the opening stand, smacking Tim Southee for a six and two fours in the fifth over. Buttler could have been out in the last over of the powerplay after he miscued a cut over extra cover. Williamson ran back, dived full length and claimed the catch. Buttler began to walk off, but replays showed that the ball had clearly touched the ground as the Kiwi skipper tried to complete the catch.
Having survived, the England captain celebrated by using the pace of Lockie Ferguson and guiding one over fine leg for a maximum. Hales reached his half-century with a streaky four off Mitchell Santner before being dismissed off the next ball. He gave the left-arm spinner the charge, but came down too early, allowing the bowler to send one down slow and wide. The batter completely missed the ball and was stumped.
Buttler received a life on 40 as he pulled Ferguson to deep square leg, where Mitchell put down a straightforward catch. The England captain, who had smashed the previous ball for four, slapped two more boundaries in the same over. At the other end, though, England lost Moeen (five), who holed out to wide long-on off Ish Sodhi.
After crossing his half-century, Buttler took on Trent Boult and hit him for consecutive fours. Livingstone came in and clubbed a couple of impressive big hits. He was, however, cleaned up by Ferguson for 20, missing his scoop shot. Brook (seven) then perished to Southee, looking for quick runs, while Buttler was run out after being refused a single that was never on.
Following a terrific start, England slipped to 163/5 by the penultimate over. Curran slammed Ferguson for a six in the last over to lift the batting side. Stokes (eight) was then trapped lbw by a brilliant yorker as England fell one short of 180. It was more than enough for England to secure a significant victory, though, as, barring Phillips, none of the Kiwis batters came to the party.
The victory saw the Englishmen move up to second position in the Group 1 points table, pushing Australia down to third.
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