ICC Live

In focus

Buy Tickets for 2017 - 300x250

England enters semi-finals after 10-run win

England bowlers add to good work from Cook and Root to seal victory; New Zealand now waits for result of Australia-Sri Lanka match to know its fate

England enters semi-finals after 10-run win - Cricket News
England captain Alastair Cook during his knock of 64 runs off 47 balls.
England continued to defy conventional wisdom, with orthodox batsmen taking a conservative approach to limited-overs cricket and the bowlers sticking to the time-tested basics of line and length to progress to the final four of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. New Zealand, as is its wont, fought to the end, but ultimately fell short by 11 runs in pursuit of 170 from 24 overs.

While the result meant that England was through to the semi-finals, New Zealand was still in with a chance of also making the cut. If Australia beats Sri Lanka at the Oval on Monday, it will end the league phase tied with New Zealand on three points. It would then come down to net run-rate, where New Zealand is well placed.

Even in a rain-truncated 24-over game at the Cardiff Wales Cricket Ground on Sunday (June 16), England resisted the temptation to put as many runs as possible on the board; instead it made enough to allow the bowlers to get to work. New Zealand did themselves no favours, first shelling catches of varying difficulty to allow England to get to 169 and then imploding in the early part of the chase.

When Sunday dawned mildly grey there was the concern that the two teams might be forced to take a point each, with rain being forecast for most of the day. Various permutations and combinations were calculated, none of which favoured England much. However, the weather allowed a clear enough window for the toss to take place early, and Brendon McCullum gave his team a significant edge by putting the opposition in when play finally got underway at 3.45pm.

With an eye on the weather, and the game being played on a slightly weary pitch, New Zealand’s opening bowlers, bolstered by the arrival of Corey Anderson as a late replacement for the injured Grant Elliott, had a good opportunity to put England on the back foot.

Mitchell McClenaghan got the first breakthrough, when Ian Bell hit one powerfully to short cover where Brendon McCullum wrapped both hands around the ball over his right shoulder. Jonathan Trott then added to England’s troubles by flicking Kyle Mills straight to the other McCullum at midwicket. At 16 for 2, with two of its earnest innings builders back in the dressing-room, England was looking at the possibility of having to settle for a smaller score than they would have liked.

Alastair Cook, however, had no intentions of allowing New Zealand to dictate terms. Although he did not get much of the strike, Cook accumulated the runs steadily, placing the ball into the gaps well in the company of Joe Root to stitch together a 75-run third-wicket stand. Root, who is currently the toast of England, opened his shoulders to hit the first six of the innings in the tenth over, rocking back to pull Daniel Vettori into the stands at midwicket.

Root managed just three boundaries in his 38, which came at worse than a run-a-ball, and when he top-edged McClenaghan with the team score on 100, the stage was set for the power hitters to take over.

Cook was dropped twice by Nathan McCullum, once off James Franklin and once off Kane Williamson, at midwicket and point respectively, and celebrated by hitting two sixes in a One-Day International innings for the first time in his career. Franklin was sweetly struck straight back down the ground and Williamson was sent sailing over long off. Cook more than made up for a safe start, striking at a rate of 136.17 when he was finally dismissed, caught and bowled by Nathan McCullum, for 64 off only 47 balls.

New Zealand then got itself back into the game in style, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler being sent back before they could do serious damage. England went from 141 for 3 to 169 all out, which, while being a good score in itself, was far less than what looked likely at various stages of the innings.

In end, it was much more than England needed. James Anderson accounted for both New Zealand openers inside four overs, Luke Ronchi mishitting a slog to be caught on the ropes at third man and Martin Guptill dragging one back on to his stumps.

Ross Taylor was adjudged lbw when he missed a Tim Bresnan delivery that came in to him. It wasn’t entirely clear that the ball had struck Taylor in line, or that it would not go over the stumps, but a review left these calls to the on-field umpire, who had already ruled in the bowler’s favour. Brendon McCullum, New Zealand’s last realistic hope, went after the part-time seam of Ravi Bopara, launching a short ball to the on-side, only to watch in dismay as Root ran in from square-leg to take a good tumbling catch. At 48 for 4, needing to score at more than ten an over for the rest of the innings, New Zealand’s chase was dead in the water.

As rain threatened to cut short the game a second time, an excellent knock from Williamson, which showcased all phases from rescue to consolidation to acceleration, gave England a scare. Williamson, who will consider himself unlucky to be given out caught on the slog off what appeared to be a no-ball from Stuart Broad, made 67 from 54 balls. Corey Anderson, who came out slogging, smacked 30 off 24 balls, but only managed to set the game up so that 23 were needed from the final over, bowled by James Anderson, who continued the good work to seal victory by ten runs.

Similar Articles