England bat first in Champions Trophy v NZ

by Steven Clarke June 7, 2017, 11:57
England bat first in Champions Trophy v NZ

Buttler ultimately finished on a respectable 61 as England pondered whether their total of 310 would prove enough.

Mark Wood took the key wicket of Kane Williamson, while Jake Ball struck twin blows as England booked their place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy with an 87-run win over New Zealand at Cardiff yesterday.

Victory saw England into the last four of a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day global sides after an eight-wicket defeat of Bangladesh at the Oval last week, regardless of the result of their last Group A match against arch-rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Chasing a target of 311, the Black Caps were bundled out for 223 runs in just 44.3 overs. Mark Wood took the crucial wicket of Kiwi captain Kane Williamson, who had made 87 and seemed to be taking his team to victory.

Both were guilty of not converting their fifties into hundreds despite looking good.

But neither was able to consolidate, and only when Jos Buttler (61no) provided a dash of late impetus did England pass the modern benchmark of 300 - without the game-breaking charge to put themselves out of sight.

And in fairness to players such as Neil Broom, Jimmy Neesham and Corey Anderson, it was fiendishly hard to get in as England's bowlers exploited variable bounce in the pitch with some excellent cross-seam bowling.

In-form Root looked to continuing from where he had left off against Bangladesh.

"We'd have bowled first", said England captain Eoin Morgan after his side were sent into bat in overcast conditions and on a green-tinged pitch.

Milne, however, was in the thick of things again, breaking the promising second wicket stand between Hales and Root with a delivery that squared up the former on the crease.

Taylor had become bogged down by the time he slapped a full delivery from Jake Ball to Root at mid-wicket for 39 and England were back in firm command. But, when you post over 300 you're always in with a shout.

The senior men, massive for New Zealand's hopes, added 89 and the platform was set for a final launch. Corey Anderson looks most vulnerable having gone 13 ODI innings without a half-century and having Ronchi at number five would provide more balls in the middle order.

Earlier, Hales scored his second 50 of the tournament but was bowled by Milne for 56 off 62, right after hitting the same bowler for six over longoff. But Stokes was tormented with a few wide ones outside off stump and, on 48, he had a brainstorm as he ran an uppercut against Boult into third man's hands.

Boult took a superb catch at short fine leg off Anderosn's bowling to dismiss Moeen Ali (12) who failed to support the explosive Buttler.

The ball may be replaced by either the swing of David Willey or the pace and bounce of Steven Finn, and they also joined the squad as a replacement for Chris Woakes but there will likely the player Adil Rashid will be new for the team. "We weren't that pleased at halfway and thought we were maybe 20 or 30 short of par".

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