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New Zealand, England set for another tense decider

NZ v Eng, 5th T20I, preview

After four Twenty20 Internationals, there has been little to separate the two sides, locked at 2-2, but England, having wreaked havoc at Napier, have the advantage in the decider on Sunday, 10 November.


New Zealand v England
5th T20I
Eden Park, Auckland
Sunday, 10 November; 02:00pm local, 01:00am GMT

Playing to stay alive in the series, England stormed to a 73-run win in the fourth T20I, on the back of a century from Dawid Malan and 91 from captain Eoin Morgan. Having conceded well over 200 runs in the game, New Zealand's bowlers will now have to tidy up.Β 

One key area of focus will be the use of slower balls. As Chris Jordan and Tom Curran expertly demonstrated in the previous match, those variations are key on belting tracks.

While England's batting has looked potent throughout the series, their two losses came because of lower-middle-order failures. That element didn't get put to the test at Napier as Malan and Morgan batted well into the 20th over. If New Zealand can expose that part of the batting line-up, it will be interesting to see how England respond.

What happened last time

Things seemed fairly muted at the start of England's innings. When Tom Banton fell for a 20-ball 31, it seemed like advantage New Zealand as the visitors were 58/2. But Malan and Morgan came out all guns blazing.

They smashed 29 boundaries between them, including 13 sixes, and the Black Caps, generally a dynamic bowling attack, were clueless against the brazen onslaught. The duo added 182 runs, an England record. Malan was the star of the innings for England with an unbeaten 51-ball 103; captain Morgan, who fell in the final over short of his own century, wasn't too far behind with his 41-ball 91.

New Zealand began well in the chase of 241/3. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro posted 54 runs in just 26 balls. But once the breakthrough was made, the hosts collapsed. The star of the bowling show was leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who dismissed Colin de Grandhomme and Munro off successive balls as part of his four-wicket haul.

Captain Tim Southee made a fighting 15-ball 39, but they eventually folded for 165 with 19 balls remaining.

What they said

Tim Southee, New Zealand captain: "There's one short boundary here [Napier]; there's a few short boundaries in Auckland. As a bowling unit it's about getting our heads around that and when we are put under pressure it's how we react, and either take wickets or shut them down."

Eoin Morgan, England captain: "I don't think we've ever batted in that manner or posted a score like that, so to do it against a very strong line-up and come out winners is extremely satisfying."


There's a bit of rain on the radar, but the weather is likely to stay clear for the most part of the fixture. The oddly shaped Eden Park has a number of small boundaries, so expect a lot of sixes. Occasionally, there can be swing for the fast bowlers upfront.



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