Hosts and once again favourites England have successfully booked their berth in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup with registering a comprehensive 119-run victory over New Zealand in their last league game at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street. The England opening pair of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy once again provided a solid foundation at the top. However, despite their fabulous work, England finished with just an above-par first innings total on the scoreboard.
But in the second innings, the New Zealand side boiled down under the immense pressure of the run-chase and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, before eventually getting bowled out. With this loss, New Zealand will now have to wait for the other results to come in their favour in order to seal the semis spot.
Bairstow smacks another ton before the Kiwi bowlers fightback to keep the target to 306
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the two England in-form openers, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy once again in this tournament got their team off to a sensational start. The duo batted amazingly well to stitch an excellent partnership of 123 runs for the opening wicket before Roy got dismissed for a 61-ball 60. However, even after losing his opening partner, Bairstow kept playing in his usual attacking mode and notched his second century in a row.
Bairstow and Joe Root added 71 runs for the third wicket partnership. But then the Kiwi bowlers came back in the game by first removed the well set pair of Root and Bairstow and then kept picking wickets at regular intervals.
At one point, England were certain to register a massive first innings total, but with wickets falling quickly, the hosts managed to score 305 runs. For New Zealand, the troika of Boult, Henry and Neesham finished with two wickets each.
Bowlers collective efforts deflates New Zealand
Chasing a stiff target of 306 runs in a pressure game, New Zealand got off to a poor start as both their openers, Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls continued their poor form with the bat in this game as well getting dismissed with 14 runs on the board. The pair of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then tried to resurrect the Kiwi innings with a brief partnership of 47 runs.
Things were looking to settle down for New Zealand, but then suddenly both the set batsmen duo of Williamson and Taylor got out one after the other. The all-rounder pair of James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme also got out pretty soon leaving New Zealand in trouble again at 128 for 6.
Eventually the Kiwis got bowled out for a paltry total of 186 runs in 45 overs. Tom Latham finished as the highest-scorer for New Zealand, playing an impressive knock of 57 runs. For England, Mark Wood bowled amazingly well to pick up three vital scalps, while the other bowlers also supported him pretty nicely.
England: 305/8 in 50 overs (Jonny Bairstow-106, Jason Roy-60; James Neesham 2/41, Matt Henry 2/54)
New Zealand: 186/10 in 45 overs (Tom Latham-57; Mark Wood 3/34, Ben Stokes 1/10)
Result: England won the match by 119 runs.