CHAMPIONS TROPHY: England into semi-finals after second win
England are into the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy after beating New Zealand by 87 runs with an accomplished all-round display. On a cold, blustery and sometimes wet day in Cardiff, England had set a total of 310, Joe Root top-scoring with 64 from 65 balls and Jos Buttler making a rapid unbeaten 61.
With their reply at 158-2 after 30 overs and captain Kane Williamson on 87, New Zealand appeared to be timing the chase with precision. But Mark Wood’s clever cross-seam delivery saw off Williamson, and when the experienced Ross Taylor fell 10 runs later England took control.
Three of England’s top six had made half-centuries and another, Stokes, come within two runs. There was more disappointment for Jason Roy, the opener making just 13. His last seven one-day international innings have now brought a cumulative total of just 47.
A run-a-ball partnership of 81 between Alex Hales and Root was ended when Hales was bowled by Adam Milne for 56, and Root then went the same way, bottom-edging an ugly pull off Corey Anderson.
Stokes was the next to regret the manner of his dismissal, ramping a short ball from Milne straight down the throat of third man. It was left to Buttler to accelerate the effort towards the end, one scoop-shot flicked over his own head and on to the television gantry for a brilliant six.
New Zealand seemed content with that target, only for England’s bowlers to make a far tougher proposition. With two assured wins from two, Eoin Morgan’s men have underlined their status as pre-tournament favourites and they will head into the knock-out stages in bullish mood. (BBC Sport)