Wright fires again as England beat New Zealand
PALLEKELE: Steven Finn took 3-16 and Luke Wright notched an aggressive 76 to help England beat New Zealand by six wickets in the Super Eights group one match in the World Twenty20 here on Saturday.
Wright smashed five sixes and as many boundaries off 43 balls and added 89 for the third wicket with Eoin Morgan (30) as England comfortably chased down a modest target of 149 in 18.5 overs at Pallekele stadium.
Wright and Morgan, who hit a four and a six, made sure the defending champions cross the line after losing openers Craig Kieswetter (four) and Alex Hales (22) by the seventh over.
Wright hit two sixes off Tim Southee to reach his half-century off just 33 balls and then smashed two more off part-timer Rob Nicol to bring England within 23 runs of victory.
Even after Morgan and Wright fell in quick succession, the target was never out of reach.
The victory gives England, who lost to the West Indies in their opening match by 15 runs, a chance to stay in the tournament. New Zealand, who lost to Sri Lanka will be out if West Indies beat the hosts later Saturday.
England captain Stuart Broad expressed delight at his team’s win.
“It’s nice to bounce back. Finn set the tone with the new ball. The wicket was a lot drier and it did turn a bit. We now have a huge game on Monday,” said Broad of the game against Sri Lanka which will decide their semi-final fate.
Taylor felt the target was not enough.
“I thought it was a decent score but no enough at the end of the day. We had our moments but we couldn’t capitalise on them,” said Taylor.
Earlier, James Franklin scored 50 before he was run out in the final over to help New Zealand, who won the toss, to 148-6 in their 20 overs.
Franklin hit four boundaries and two sixes off 33 deliveries.
New Zealand were in a spot of bother at 67-4 in the 12th over before skipper Ross Taylor (22)and Franklin lifted them with a 40-run stand.
Finn provided a double breakthrough, dismissing Martin Guptill (five) in the second over of the innings before having dangerman Brendon McCullum in his next, caught at third man off a miscued shot for ten.
It became 43-3 when Nicol was caught at deep square leg, trying to lift off-spinner Graeme Swann who finished with 1-20 off his four overs.
Kane Williamson (17) added 25 with Taylor before he edged left-arm spinner Danny Briggs to wicket-keeper Kieswetter.
Finn returned for a second spell to dismissed Taylor, caught at deep mid-wicket. Finn’s previous best of 3-22 were against India in 2011.
England: Stuart Broad (capt), Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter, Danny Briggs, Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (capt), Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell.
Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Asad Rauf (PAK)
Tv umpire: Steve Davis (AUS)
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)