England prevail in must-win clash against New Zealand
England earned a nerve-shredding 20-run win over New Zealand to reignite their hopes in the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Knowing defeat would all but eliminate them, England survived under intense pressure to successfully defend 179 at the Gabba.
After being reduced to 28-2, the Black Caps looked to have swung the game in their favour when Glenn Phillips and captain Kane Williamson combined for a stand of 91 from 59 balls.
But, with 61 runs needed from 31 balls, Ben Stokes provided the crucial breakthrough by dismissing Williamson for 40 from 40 balls.
From there England impressively turned the screw – and held their nerve under a series of high catches.
In the 18th over, the increasingly dependable Sam Curran had Phillips, who was dropped on 15 by Moeen Ali, caught at long-on for 62 from 36 balls to end New Zealand’s bid.
Earlier, Jos Buttler, who was reprieved by a TV review of a catch on eight and dropped again on 40, hit 73 from 47 balls to lift his side to 179-6.
He put on 81 for the opening wicket with Alex Hales, who made 52 from 40 balls, and although England did not fully capitalise they go into the final round of matches with the advantage.
They will qualify for the semi-finals if they beat Sri Lanka on Saturday, as long as Australia do not beat Afghanistan a day earlier and also overturn England’s significant net run-rate advantage.
The fact England’s match comes 24 hours after Australia helps their cause as they will have a clear picture of any net run-rate requirements going into their final game. (BBC Sport)