New Zealand out-batted, out-bowled and out-fielded England in the second T20I and won the encounter by 21 runs at the Westpac in Wellington to level the five-match series 1-1 on Sunday (November 3).
Asked to bat, handy contributions from Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham, and sloppy fieldwork from England propelled the Black Caps to a challenging total of 176 for 8 in their 20 overs. In reply, England kept losing wickets at regular intervals as New Zealand bowlers hunted in a pack to bundle the opposition out for 155 in 19.5 overs.
Guptill, at the top of the innings clouted 41 off 28 deliveries, while Neesham moved the scoreboard with 42 off 22 balls, including four sixes, before he was removed on the final ball of the innings. With New Zealand pushing to square the series after losing game one by seven wickets, de Grandhomme smashed three sixes in his impressive 28 from only 12 balls while Ross Taylor chipped in with 28 but at a slower scoring rate.
After Guptill and de Grandhomme’s lusty hitting, New Zealand reached the halfway stage at 96 for 3, but tight bowling from Sam Curran and Chris Jordan put the brakes on scoring as the innings wore on. Jordan returned figures of 3 for 23 while Curran took 2 for 22.
The cluster of newcomers in the England ranks had mixed fortunes with the ball and six dropped catches, three by James Vince also proved costly for the tourists. Saqib Mahmood, on debut, saw his second delivery on the international stage smacked over the long-on boundary by Guptill and Colin Munro finished the over with a six over mid-wicket. Mahmood did claim the wicket of Tim Siefert for 16 but his maiden wicket came at an expensive 46 runs from his four overs.
Munro faced only three more balls after his huge boundary before he was trapped in front by a Curran yorker. Meanwhile, Pat Brown proved much more expensive in his second outing, conceding 32 off two overs. All-rounder Lewis Gregory, who did not get to bat or bowl in his debut in Christchurch, bagged a wicket with his first ball in international cricket when he bowled Colin de Grandhomme for 28.
The home team was in desperate need of a late charge and they got that from Neesham who was playing his first T20I since January 2017. The left-hander smoked two fours and four maximums to ensure New Zealand get to a challenging total.
New Zealand captain Tim Southee then removed Jonny Bairstow on the very first delivery before Lockie Ferguson had last match’s half-centurion James Vince caught for just 1 to leave England reeling.
Dawid Malan (29-ball 39) and Eoin Morgan (17-ball 32) then kept the scoreboard moving but the latter couldn’t keep going and was caught at deep by de Grandhomme, who in total took four catches. Santner claimed 3 for 25 while Southee, Ferguson and Ish Sodhi took two wickets apiece.
When Malan fell to an exceptional diving catch by Guptill, it looked like the game would be over but Jordan then smacked three fours and as many sixes in his 19-ball 36 to keep his team in the hunt. Jordan slammed Sodhi for three sixes in an over before becoming Santner’s third and final victim. Southee, Ferguson and Daryl Mitchell then claimed the final three wickets to seal the deal for the home team.
The third T20I will be played at the Saxton Oval in Nelson on Tuesday.
(With inputs from AFP)