Kiwis clawed their ways back in the second T20I encounter at the home soil against traditional rivals England as the Black Caps edged past the Eoin Morgan’s troop by just 21 runs in an edgy nail-biter. The hosts presented an all-rounder performance at the home pitch of Wellington Regional Stadium on Sunday and at last, leveled the scoreline with 1-1 verdict in the ongoing five-match series.
Both the teams started off on a positive note. Toss-winning team England decided to bowl first after which the explosive openers of New Zealand Martin Guptil and Colin Munro take on the field with full confidence in front of the home crowd. The destructive opener Guptill contributed 41 crucial runs for his team while Munro failed to mark a good score and went back with just 7 runs in the kitty. However, the cameos of Colin de Grandhomme (28), James Neesham (42) and Ross Taylor (28) somehow helped the Black Caps to set the target of 176 runs on board.
While chasing such a paltry target of 177 runs the entire team of England bundled out at just 155 runs in 19.5 overs. The visitors had a worst possible start of the season as the star wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow made his way to the pavilion with no run after playing just one ball. This was then followed by a fall of back to back wickets for England. Aa a result, Black Caps won the match with a close margin.
The star skipper of England cricket team Eoin Morgan expressed his disappointment on losing the game to New Zealand in a post-match presentation. He said, “when you drop that amount of catches it’s not a great reflection on the performance and the levels of fielding that we aspire to. There were a couple of catches that went in the sun which made it look a lot worse but as regards our standard catches, we expect more”.
Both the teams will next play each other in the third T20I encounter which is going to be a tie-breaker. It will be interesting to see whether the Black Caps will be able to extend their lead against the strong visitors at Saxton Oval Stadium on Tuesday or Eoin Morgan and team will bounce back in the game.
New Zealand: 176/8; James Neesham (42), Martin Guptill (41), Colin de Grandhomme (28), Chris Jordan (3/23), Sam Curran (2/22), and Lewis Gregory (1/10)
England: Dawid Malan (39), Chris Jordan (36), Eoin Morgan (32), Mitchell Santner (3/25), Tim Southee (2/25), and Lockie Ferguson (2/34)