Specials – Best of England v New Zealand T20Is

  England and New Zealand will clash for the first time since their epic World Cup final in July, when they take the field for the first of a five-match T20 international series at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval on November 1. Since their first meeting in the shortest format at the inaugural edition of the World T20 in 2007, the two teams have faced each other in 16 T20Is, with England holding a 10-5 advantage. 

  With a day to go for the series to commence, here is a look back at five memorable T20I encounters played between England and New Zealand over the years. 

World T20 Super Eight Stage, Durban, 2007-08

  New Zealand prevailed narrowly in what was a crucial fixture, despite a disastrous start – they were reduced to 31/4 inside six overs. The revival came through Scott Styris (42) and Craig McMillan, who put on a fifth-wicket stand of 60.  McMillan went on to hit 57 in just 31 balls, taking the eventual total towards 164/9. 

  Darren Maddy (50) and Vikram Solanki began the chase with intent, adding 62 in good time. But New Zealand clawed back, and the score read 146/5 with two overs remaining. Three wickets in the 19th over gave New Zealand the upper hand, and England were duly restricted 159/8; the defeat effectively ending their campaign.  

World T20 Super Eight Stage, Gros Islet, 2010

  England had already qualified for the semifinal coming into this last Super Eight game for both teams, while New Zealand needed to win in order to make the grade. The Black Caps were placed at a sluggish 65/3 in the 11th over, before a fourth-wicket stand of 62 between Ross Taylor (44) and Styris (31) pushed them to 149/6.

  In reply, England wobbled from 60/1 to 66/4 after an attacking start from Michael Lumb (32). Eoin Morgan (40) and Luke Wright put the innings back on track by adding 52 for the fifth wicket, and even though England lost three more wickets, they ensured that they achieved a three-wicket win with five deliveries to spare.

Embed from Getty Images

           England’s Jason Roy in action during his match-winning 78 against New Zealand in the 2016 World T20 semifinal at Delhi (source – Getty Images)

First T20I, The Oval, 2013

  Boyd Rankin got rid of James Franklin for a duck in the first over, but Hamish Rutherford (62 in 35 balls) and captain Brendon McCullum (68 in 48) put the English bowling to the sword thereafter. The duo added 114 for the second wicket, and their exploits, coupled with Taylor’s quick 32*, ballooned New Zealand’s total to 201/4. 

  Lumb and Alex Hales (39) raced to an opening stand of 50 in 3.4 overs, before Hales added 55 for the second wicket with Wright (52). The wickets of captain Morgan and Wright made the score 139/4 after 15 overs. Ravi Bopara (30*) kept the chase alive, but a target of 16 off the final over proved too much, and the innings ended at 196/5.

World T20 Semifinal, Delhi, 2015-16

  The first semifinal of the 2016 World T20 saw England secure a convincing victory. Having been put in to bat, New Zealand were at a robust 91/1 in the 11th over, with captain Kane Williamson (32) and Colin Munro (46) in the middle. However, the English bowlers, led by Ben Stokes (3/26), bounced back to limit the total to 153/8. 

  Jason Roy (78 from 44 balls) dominated an opening stand of 82 in 8.2 overs with Hales, which all but extinguished New Zealand’s chances. Ish Sodhi removed Roy and skipper Morgan in successive balls, but a fourth-wicket stand of 49* between Joe Root and Jos Buttler (32*) sealed England’s seven-wicket win with 17 balls left.   

Sixth T20I, Trans-Tasman Tri-Series, Hamilton, 2017-18

  The outcome of this last round-robin match was to determine who would be facing Australia in the final. Morgan played a captain’s knock after England were inserted, scoring an unbeaten 80 from 46 balls. He came in at 24/2 in the fourth over and put on 93 for the third wicket with Dawid Malan (53), paving the way for a total of 194/7.

  To enter the final, England had to win by at least 20 runs. However, openers Martin Guptill (62) and Munro (57 in 21 balls) raised a stand of 78 in just 6.3 overs. New Zealand confirmed their spot in the final in the 18th over, but could not win the game – needing 12 off the last over and four off the last ball, they were kept to 192/4. 

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