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Saturday , October 31 2020

New Zealand beat England by 21 runs in 2nd T20

Santner helps NZ level series despite Jordan brilliance

New Zealand’s James Neesham attempts a lap shot against England during the T20 cricket game between England and New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand on Nov 3. (AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov 3, (AP): New Zealand enjoyed a rare sporting victory over England Sunday when they won the second Twenty20 cricket international by 21 runs to level the five-match series at 1-1.

Poor catching cost England dearly as New Zealand made 176-8 after being asked to bat while Colin de Grandhomme held four catches and Martin Guptill two as England were all out for 155 in the 20th over.

Guptill made a partial return to form, scoring 41 from 28 balls at the top of the order – his highest score in his last 14 limited overs innings. De Grandhomme dashed 28 from 12 balls in the middle of the innings and Jimmy Neesham, in his first Twenty20 international in almost two years, hit 42 from 22 balls near the end.

New Zealand were aided by England’s poor fielding. James Vince, who scored an impressive half-century in the first game of the series which England won by seven wickets, dropped two straight-forward catches and missed one harder chance.

Other chances went down as New Zealand vastly improved on their batting performance in the first match of the series when they made an inadequate 153-5.

Gutpill’s innings, which included three fours and two sixes set them off at a faster pace than they achieved in Friday’s series opener when they were tied down by brothers Tom and Sam Curran, who shared the new ball for England.

Regular contributions throughout the order, from the big-hitting De Grandhomme and from Neesham allowed New Zealand to reach a competitive total.

New Zealand then made use of local knowledge in their bowling approach and field settings when England replied. The Wellington Regional Stadium has strange dimensions, short square boundaries but long straight boundaries and the Black Caps made good use of those qualities.

By forcing England to hit straight in windy conditions, they set up the catches which de Grandhomme and Guptill shared.

“I thought the Black Caps played incredibly well,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. “I thought we bowled reasonably well but they batted well and used the dimensions of the field really well.

“We didn’t bat or field anywhere near as well as we did the other way. We dropped catches and continued to lose wickets.”

England made the worst-possible start when they lost Jonny Bairstow to the first ball of the innings. It was 3-2 when Vince was out for one in the next over.

Morgan hit his team back into the match, scoring 32 from 17 balls, before all-rounder Chris Jordan, who had earlier taken 3-23 in an outstanding bowling performance, gave England late hope with 36 off 19 balls including 22 runs – three sixes and a four – off consecutive balls from Mitchell Santner.

Santner had the last laugh, dismissing Jordan and taking 3-25 from four overs to be voted man of the match.

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