Home Sports Cricket New Zealand beat England by 21 runs to level T20 series

New Zealand beat England by 21 runs to level T20 series

New Zealand beat England by 21 runs

New Zealand beat England by 21 runs to level the Twenty20 series at 1-1 in Wellington.

Chasing 177, England slipped to 3-2 after eight balls before being bowled out for 155 despite Dawid Malan’s 39 and Chris Jordan’s 19-ball 36 late on.

The returning Jimmy Neesham made 42 off 22 deliveries and Martin Guptill 41 in New Zealand’s 176-8, with Jordan taking 3-23 and Sam Curran 2-22.

The third game of the five-match series is in Nelson at 01:00 GMT on Tuesday.

England, who have rested several first-choice players, restricted the Black Caps to what felt like a below-par total, despite dropping five catches, after winning the toss.

Although the pitch had more pace than the one in the series opener in Christchurch and the square boundaries were short, it never felt like England were in control of the chase.

New Zealand spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi were impressive, taking a combined 5-62 from eight overs.

After handing debuts to three players in the seven-wicket win on Friday, England gave Lancashire pace bowler Saqib Mahmood his first cap in place of Tom Curran.

Mahmood, bowling in the powerplay and death overs, finished with 1-46 from four overs.

Having conceded 15 from his first over, he fought back well in his second by having Tim Seifert caught behind attempting to ramp.

Mahmood’s final two overs, the 17th and 19th of the innings, went for 11 and 15 respectively, although he regularly found the block hole.

Fellow seamer Pat Brown, who took 1-33 on debut in the series opener, conceded 32 from two overs.

After not bowling or batting in the first game, Lewis Gregory struck with his first ball in international cricket as he nipped one back to bowl the dangerous Colin de Grandhomme, who made 28 from 12 balls.

While not new to international cricket, it was only Sam Curran’s second T20 international appearance and he was again impressive in taking 2-22.

England will be disappointed with the quality of their fielding, however. Three of the five dropped catches were fairly routine, with James Vince spilling two simple chances and an extremely tough one.

Guptill, who made two from seven balls in the first T20, showed glimpses that he was finding the rhythm again during his 28-ball innings.

Strong down the ground and through the on the side, he gave New Zealand’s innings impetus at the top of the order, something that was missing on Friday.

All-rounder Neesham had not featured in a T20 international since January 2017, but his impressive 50-over World Cup this summer – when he scored 232 runs and took 15 wickets – earned him a recall.

Based on Sunday’s display, New Zealand has to find a way to get him into their side regularly.

Particularly strong on the leg side, left-handed Neesham also played one gorgeous inside-out shot over extra-cover off Mahmood that demonstrated his undeniable quality.

His contribution was integral to the Kiwis posting a target that proved comfortably beyond England.

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Source – BBC