England has won the toss and elected to bat first. Jonny Bairstow century and a 123-run opening stand floored New Zealand. Though the later did come back with some excellent bowling display Bairstow and Roy had done enough damage. Bairstow also became the first English player to score back-to-back World Cup hundreds.
England was excellent with the ball. Woakes and Archer set the tone early with disciplined bowling while Plunkett and Wood ensured that there was no let-up in pressure. Wood was the beneficiary of being the highest wicket-taker of the match with 3 scalps.
Chasing a big total, a good start is always needed and that is one thing which the Kiwis have never got in this tournament. Guptill’s poor form is a big worry and it was not any great in this match either.
In next to no time, the Black Caps slipped to 14/2. As usual, Williamson and Taylor needed to resurrect and they tried their best but could not do much. Once they fell, the innings just fell apart. Only Tom Latham managed to cross 50, in a list of just 5 batsmen who reached double figures.
The Kiwis might still make it to the semis but after starting the tournament on a bright note, they seem to be tapering off, which needs to be arrested.
The crowd roars. A massive, massive win for England. Comprehensive is the word. By 119 runs. The team touted to play the final is indeed back on track. Fist pumps between the English players and now, time for the handshakes and they reach semis.
Eoin Morgan | England captain:
Believes that England played unbelievably today. Is admiring the stand between Roy and Bairstow which enabled his side to be on top despite losing their way in the last 30 overs of the first innings.
On England being forced to adapt to defending totals more than preferring to chase, Morgan bluntly says that he believes that his side can do both – defend or chase – depending on how good or bad the pitch gets in the second innings.
On England’s chances in their next knockout, Eoin is happy with the intent shown by his unit in the last two games, which is identical to the gameplan laid down for the future 4 years ago.
On being asked who would they prefer in the semi-final as their opponent – Australia or India – Morgan is quick to say NO. He is happy enough to be playing in the semi-final in the first place and wants his side to play good cricket.
Kane Williamson | New Zealand Captain:
Admits that it is not easy to recover after three successive losses but wants his side to learn from those games and move forward. On being asked whether England got the best of the conditions, Williamson agrees but quickly says that the home side was much better in all departments than his own.
Praises the English top order for being so dominant. On being asked whether he felt that New Zealand had a chance to win at the halfway stage, Kane says that definitely, they felt so but for that, they needed partnerships which did not come. Wants his unit to play some smart cricket and apply itself, citing examples of a run-out and a soft dismissal down the leg side as a non-ideal way to start the run chase.
On what New Zealand can do till the next game, if they do play the semi-final, Williamson just stresses on individuals trying to improve themselves and adapt to different surfaces. But is also quick to point out that if they do reach the semis, it will be a different day and they are yet to play their best cricket. On Lockie Ferguson’s injury, Kane says that he was rested as a precautionary measure.
JONNY BAIRSTOW | MAN OF THE MATCH:
Bairstow says he is very pleased and they knew that the last two games are must-win ones and the performances they have put in a few games haven’t been up to the mark but adds the last two matches have been very good.
On how important the toss is, he says the toss of the coin can go either way, on a different day they could have been bowling first and you never know what could have happened but today they batted first and it all went well. States he and Roy have been batting together for a while and they understand each other, the communication between the two is good.
On being reminded it his third consecutive ton against New Zealand, he says, he did not know it was his third, they needed to play well today against a quality side but he is happy they got over the line.
Mentions the break is going to be important, they need to rest, get fresh and be ready. Further adds they will meet up a couple of days before and get ready to go. Ends by saying they are hoping for another good performance in the Semi-Finals and he hopes they can continue the form they have shown in the last two games.