With this win, three teams including England in Group One have five points from four matches. New Zealand and Australia also have the same number of points. New Zealand is on top and England is second due to better net run rate. England scored 179 for six with captain Butler (73 off 47 balls, seven fours, two sixes) and Hales (52 off 40 balls, seven fours, one six) sharing an 81-run opening stand.
Philips didn’t get along
Chasing the target, New Zealand had a poor start and the team lost the wickets of both openers Devon Conway (03) and Finn Allen (16) for 28 runs in the fifth over. Williamson and Phillips, who scored a century in the previous match against Sri Lanka, then took over the innings. Phillips was lucky on the score of four when Buttler failed to catch him off Liam Livingstone’s delivery. Phillips got the second life on the score of 15 runs.
After hitting a six on Wood, Phillips took the team’s score to 100 runs in the 14th over with two consecutive sixes on Rashid. Phillips completed his half-century in just 25 balls with two runs on Rashid. Williamson, however, gave an easy catch to Rashid at short third man off Ben Stokes. He hit three fours in his 40-ball innings.
New Zealand needed 57 runs to win in the last five overs. Wood gave New Zealand the fourth blow by getting James Neesham (06) caught by Curran while Daryl Mitchell was out in the next over. The team needed 49 runs in the last three overs. Phillips was also caught in the hands of Jordan in an attempt to play a big shot off Curran. He faced 36 balls and hit four fours and three sixes.
England’s opening pair did wonders
Earlier, Buttler became the leading run-scorer for England in T20 International cricket, overtaking Eoin Morgan during this innings. Luck also favored Butler. He got life on the scores of eight and 40. He got his first life in the powerplay when his New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson jumped into the covers and caught the ball but when he fell down, the ball got out of his hand.
Butler took the lead after Hales was dismissed. He targeted Lockie Ferguson and once again he got lucky when Daryl Mitchell dropped a simple catch at the midwicket boundary. After returning to the team, the 33-year-old Hales, who has been in excellent form, scored his third half-century in the last 12 innings. Both avoided playing shots in the air in the powerplay, which is not their natural game. England set the stage for a big score by scoring 77 runs in 10 overs without losing a wicket.
Mitchell Santner (1 for 25) and Ish Sodhi (1 for 23) put some curb on the run-rate. Left-arm spinner Santner varied his pace well. Santner gave New Zealand their first breakthrough by stumping Hales. Moeen Ali, sent at number three, disappointed and after scoring five runs, fell victim to Ferguson (2 for 45) in the 14th over. New Zealand, however, bowled better in the last three overs, taking four wickets including Buttler and conceding just 22 runs during this period.