March 18, 2018

Williamson in the runs as New Zealand beat England

15 February 2018, 06:41 | Rudolph Thomas

Kane Williamson “I’ve got a bit of a back niggle and hopefully it’s settled by tomorrow”

Kane Williamson back injury New Zealand England T20 tri-series cricket

Alex Hales and Dawid Malan scored 47 and 59 respectively in England's total of 184-9, but Buttler says that he and his teammates gave their opponents too much of an advantage as New Zealand posted a target of 197.

Briefly England stemmed the rate after the fielding restrictions relaxed, but then Guptill and Williamson kicked on. Debutant wicket-keeper Seifert hit 2 sixes in the last over as New Zealand finished the innings for 196 for the loss of 4 wickets.

However, spinner Adil Rashid suggested that the Middlesex batsman will likely return to the team for meeting with New Zealand on 13 February.

To reach the final, England need David Warner's Australia to beat New Zealand on Friday and then beat the Black Caps on Sunday.

But any hope England had that the double blow would stem the boundaries was shattered by Williamson who collected three sixes in five balls after the wickets, taking his tally for the innings to four.

Chris Jordan produced a remarkable one-handed catch on the boundary to see off Colin de Grandhomme for a golden duck.

Vince was run out by Williamson, Buttler was caught by Tim Southee off Sodhi and Billings top-edged a shot off Mitchell Santner before being caught by Sodhi as the trio failed to fire.

England, who needed a record score to win, were off to a flier, courtesy of tall opener Alex Hales. Run out of Vince by skipper Williamson and Sodhi's second victim skipper Buttler saw England slide further in the run chase.

It was particularly chastening for Wood, whose four overs and extra pace allowed 51 runs.

Earlier, Williamson discovered how much can hinge on one ball.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson: "It is an important win in the context of the series".

"It's not just about being aggressive and hitting the ball out of the park, it's recognising we have got the firepower and being smarter with it".

The Kiwis are likely to give debuts to two players after wicketkeeper Tim Seifert and ex-Hong Kong batsman Mark Chapman were added to the squad in place of Tom Blundell, Tom Bruce and Seth Rance. If they can hold steady for at least the first six overs, England will be assured a good start.

Unhelpful - for ground staff - weather conditions in Wellington recently, hot and humid, ate away at a large, rectangular shape of the pitch, giving it a bald, weird appearance. We were just off with our skills and the wicket played better than everyone thought.

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