Rashid, Roy star in warm-up win for England
Kane Williamson’s 63 keeps New Zealand in the hunt before it goes down by six wickets
12 March 2016 19:58
New Zealand scored 169 for 8, which, riding on a solid opening stand of 77 between Alex Hales and Jason Roy, England crossed in 19.2 overs.
Keeping that in mind, the team had set up base in Mumbai for a week before finally taking New Zealand on in an official warm-up game at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday (March 12) afternoon. The time in the city helped, as Eoin Morgan's men registered a convincing six-wicket win. More importantly for the team, all its players got a chance to pick up some much-needed match time in hot and humid conditions.
Choosing to bat, New Zealand scored 169 for 8, which, riding on a solid opening stand of 77 between Alex Hales and Jason Roy, England crossed in 19.2 overs.
Notably, in both the innings, the spinners made a big impact, further stressing the potential importance of slower bowlers in the tournament proper.
Roy, attacking right from the start of the chase, hit seven fours and two sixes in his 36-ball 55, while Hales scored 44 off 36 balls with five fours against his name.
Mitchell Santner struck in the ninth and 13th overs respectively to remove Roy and Joe Root, but, by then, the scoreboard showed 110 for 2, and with wickets in hand, England went for the shots at every opportunity.
Nathan McCullum did remove Hales and Morgan in quick succession, but a signature late blitz from Jos Buttler, where the batsman hit 24 off nine deliveries, sealed it for England with four balls remaining.
Earlier, New Zealand got off to a steady start courtesy Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls despite the early loss of Martin Guptill, who, after a hurricane seven-ball 16, looped an easy catch to Chris Jordan off Reece Topley.
It was the spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali who put the batsmen in all sorts of trouble in the middle. Though Williamson was unfazed by pace, the turn and bounce the spinners generated from the track made him quite uncomfortable. In the end, four batsmen including Williamson fell prey, giving easy catches to the England fielders and leaving New Zealand without any big hitters for the last five overs of its innings.
Williamson top scored with 63 off 39 balls, hitting nine fours and a six, even as Rashid (3 for 15), Topley (2 for 39) and Moeen (1 for 30) made regular inroads.
At the end of the contest, to finetune some of their skills in case of a Super Over situation in the main tournament, the two teams decided to play a one-over contest, which New Zealand also lost – by ten runs.
“We did lose the game, but there were a lot of positives today,” said Santner after the match. “We are well set for the tournament, and more than the result, the warm-up games give individuals a chance to prepare for the main round.”
New Zealand, which had beaten Sri Lanka in a warm-up game at the same venue two days ago, opens its tournament with a clash against India in Nagpur on Tuesday, while England has another warm-up game – against a local side on Monday afternoon – before facing West Indies in a Group 1 clash on Wednesday.
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