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ICC Champions Trophy : England vs New Zealand – Turning Points

England Team

In a Group A fixture of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, England defeated New Zealand comprehensively by 87 runs. With 2 wins in 2 games, England became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. While Australia have 2 points from 2 games with both their matches being washed out, New Zealand and Bangladesh have a point apiece. With all teams of Group A having one game left, England are officially into the semi-finals with 4 points.

Also Read: Top batsmen to look out for in the ICC Champions Trophy

Here is a look at the Turning Points of the game!

Root-Hales hold the English innings together.

Opting to bowl, New Zealand got just the start they hoped for. Jason Roy was sent off in just the 8th over of the innings as Adam Milne hit timber. After that, Vice-captain Joe Root and opener Alex Hales held the innings together as the duo added 81 for the second wicket to ensure that the early dismissal did not trigger a collapse. Hales, who is known for his hard-hitting, played an uncharacteristic yet a responsible innings of 56 off 63 deliveries with 3 fours and 3 sixes. Root, who scored a hundred in the previous game, scored 64 off 65 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Butler’s fireworks powers England to 310!

Jos Butler did exactly what he was expected to do. He raised England’s score to a competitive total coming in late. He came in during the 34th over and took his time to settle down in the middle. During the final 10 overs of their innings, England plundered 73 runs as they crossed the 300-run mark. Butler was the major cause, smashing an unbeaten 61 off just 48 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes. He kept the scoreboard ticking and ensured that the fall of wickets at the other end did not hamper the scoring rate of his team.

England strike early to keep the Kiwis on the backfoot.

The defense of the total of 310 went according to the plan for England as Jake Ball uprooted Luke Ronchi’s middle stump off just the 4th ball of the innings to send him back for a golden duck. Martin Guptill hung around for a while for a 33-ball 27 before the golden arm of Ben Stokes got rid of him with a delivery outside the off-stump which Guptill tried to drive through the covers, only to edge it to Joe Root at the wide third slip position. New Zealand were in a spot of bother at 63/2 in 14 overs.

New Zealand witness a middle order collapse.

After the fall of the openers, Captain Kane Williamson (87 off 98 balls) and Ross Taylor (39 off 59) built a steady partnership for a while, adding 95 off 101 deliveries for the third wicket. Williamson was sent off by Mark Wood with a brilliant short delivery that set the tune for the Kiwi collapse. Taylor followed Williamson with a mishit to short mid-wicket. Neil Broom (11), James Neesham (18), Corey Anderson (10) and Mitchell Santner (3) didn’t last long either and NZ were tottering 211/8.

England find the right bowling combination!

In their opening game of the tournament against Bangladesh, English bowlers seemed off rhythm, conceding more than 300 runs. Today, they had the perfect combination as they made good use of the big total on the board and created pressure right from the very first over. Making use of the overcast conditions and the breeze, English pacers rattled the Kiwi lineup. Jake Ball (2 for 31), Mark Wood (1 for 32), Liam Plunkett (4 for 55) and Ben Stokes (1 for 46) provided England with breakthroughs at regular intervals. Adil Rashid chipped in with 2 wickets for just 47 off his 10 overs to wrap up the Kiwi innings. Jake Ball was awarded the Player of the Match for his economic bowling.

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