Zeenews Sports Bureau
Sharp bowling and some outstanding batting from the openers have given England the series, 2-1. Here's how it all happened:
ENGLAND Overs: 12.4 II Score: 143/0 Target: 140
In a superlative display of T20 batting, Hales and Lumb haven’t left the Kiwis with a single crumb. Lumb slams a six to bring up his 50 and finish it all off, in uber quick time. Hales, on the other end, finishes with an unbeaten, unforgiving 80 off just 42 balls. England have won the T20I series with that. 2-1 to them!
ENGLAND Overs: 10 II Score: 93/0 Target: 140
England’s openers are making short work of this match and a mockery of the Kiwi bowling attack. This could be over ere long. Hales has swished his way to 48, while Lumb is sitting pretty on 35. 47 runs to win in 10 overs with 10 wickets in hand. Easy picking eh?
ENGLAND Overs: 5 II Score: 57/0 Target: 140
England have made a breezy start here, smashing their way to a quick 50. It looks to be in the bag already, but the fat lady isn’t singing just yet. Lumb smashed McClenaghan for two successive sixes before his misery was compounded with a drop catch in the same over. Hales, the following over, went one better, smashing consecutive boundaries to take 23 runs of Butler’s over. England stomp on…
ENGLAND Overs: 0 II Score: 0/0 Target: 140
Hales and Lumb are in the middle and we’re ready to go. 140 to win the match and the series. Boult will start the Kiwi attack. The Black Caps need a couple of early wickets to put them in front here.
NEW ZEALAND Overs: 20 II Score: 139/8 (Ian Butler 1*)
And it all goes softly wrong here at the end. Well, they do get 15 runs off the last 12 balls, but there was a promise of so much more. That last bit reminded me of my math teacher’s comments in our annual reports, but that’s for later.
Guptill was finally dismissed for 59 when Broad, in the penultimate over, received a dolly off his own bowling. Nathan McCullum got a golden duck, dismissed in Dernbach’s final over. Franklin then smashed a couple of boundaries, but fell on the last ball as he looked to drive one over extra cover.
139 feels a little short, but join us soon for England’s reply.
NEW ZEALAND Overs: 18 II Score: 124/5 (Franklin 6*, Guptill 57*)
Elliott and Munro may have perished, but Guptill stands tall as he’s guiding New Zealand onwards, ever onwards. He’s reached his 50 now and, with 2 overs to go, looks set to launch it all. Perhaps a 150 for the Kiwis here? Could be a competitive total.
NEW ZEALAND Overs: 13 II Score: 89/3 (Elliott 11*, Guptill 35*)
Things have gone a little awry here for the Kiwis, all of a sudden. Nothing terminal yet, but it’s steadily getting towards the H1N1 territory. First McCullum top edged one into the ozone layer while trying to thwack Tredwell for a biggie, with Bairstow doing the precariously safe work. Then Ross Taylor walked in, having said he’s just a couple of boundaries away from regaining some ominous form. A couple of dot balls was followed up by one half of those boundaries needed (a six at that). But the very next ball, Root unearthed Taylor’s plans to put another one over the ropes and the Kiwi only managed in top edging it to Bairstow. So that’s two who have perished in the same way. Deja-vu anyone?
And while I’ve written all that, Elliott’s just come in and smashed a six, easy as you like it! Game poised intriguingly at the moment…
NEW ZEALAND Overs: 8 II Score: 50/0 (McCullum 16*, Guptill 24*)
Despite losing Rutherford early enough, McCullum and Guptill have moved the Kiwis steadily on and the Black Caps have brought up their 50 swiftly. They’re setting a good base to launch themselves to a strong score here. Luke Wright and Tredwell are now trying their arm, in a bid to bamboozle the Kiwis. God I love the word ‘bamboozle’!
NEW ZEALAND Overs: 2 II Score: 9/0 (Rutherford 7*, Guptill 2*)
Hamish Rutherford and Martin Guptill open the batting for the Kiwis in the decider and the former has already canoodled one for a boundary on the of side. Broad has just bowled this over while Finn opened the match.
Toss: England has won the toss and decided to field first.
Preview: Welcome to the third and final T20 International between hosts New Zealand and the visiting England team. With the series tied at 1-1 and the Kiwis back in some form, it looks like we have a stellar match set up to decide the series.
England Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Luke Wright, Jonathan Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Jos Buttler (wk), Stuart Broad (cap), James Tredwell, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Hamish Rutherford, Brendon McCullum (wk/cap), Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Colin Munro, James Franklin, Nathan McCullum, Ian Butler, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan