In a decisive victory over New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday, clinical England saved their Twenty20 World Cup campaign.
However, with one set of games remaining, England and its opponents, who were both nearly likely to be eliminated had they lost, moved into the top two spots in Group 1.
The T20 World Cup semi-finals are only accessible to the top two.
It puts a lot of pressure on the hosts and reigning champions, Australia, who must now defeat Afghanistan in their final game while hoping that either England or New Zealand falters.
Jos Buttler, the captain of England, who helped the team reach 179-6 after scoring 73 off 47 balls, stated, “We had a horrible performance (in losing to Ireland), but there’s a lot of confidence in the group.” Alex Hales also reached the fifty-run mark.
We had set a goal of 160-165, but we were able to surpass it; tonight, we gave it everything.
As England began to demonstrate why they were one of the tournament favorites, the captain’s performance with the bat was important. Now it’s up to them to decide their own fate.
When Chris Woakes’ ball to New Zealand’s opener Devon Conway was leg-glanced, Jos Buttler made a breathtaking diving catch to give England the advantage in the match. After five overs, New Zealand had a score of 28-2 when Finn Allen caught a slower ball from Sam Curran and sent it to Ben Stokes at deep mid-wicket.
When Moeen Ali dropped the in-form Glenn Phillips when he was on 15, New Zealand was only 64-2 and the Black Caps were fighting against a tight bowling attack, the tide turned decisively in their favor.
Ali managed to avoid catching Phillips’ attempted pull shot, which he skied straight to him.
The English were punished by Phillips, who slammed a century against Sri Lanka in New Zealand’s most recent game, as he sped to his half-century off only 25 balls.
Buttler was switching up his attack and used seven different bowlers in an effort to make a breakthrough. When Black Caps captain Kane Williamson (40), who was his sixth pick, managed to squeeze a Stokes delivery to Adil Rashid at short third, it finally paid off.
James Neesham came and went for a six-pointer, but Phillips continued to slam the England attack all over the Gabba.
On Friday, the day the host nation plays Afghanistan, which has already been eliminated, New Zealand plays Ireland. With a win, New Zealand might have guaranteed a berth in the semifinals.
The final group match pits England against the Asian champions, Sri Lanka, on Saturday.
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