New Zealand Stuns England to Reach T20 World Cup Final

New Zealand stunned England to reach the T20 World Cup final with a dramatic victory at Old Trafford. The Black Caps, who had never won a major ICC global event and finished runners-up in the inaugural tournament of 2009, made light of their underdog status to stun defending champions England by four wickets with two balls remaining.

Ross Taylor’s brilliant century and Martin Guptill’s blazing half-century inspired New Zealand to a testing 214 for four. Then Trent Boult and Tim Southee restricted England to 199 for seven to claim victory in a dramatic final over. The Black Caps, in the semi-finals of an ICC tournament for the first time since 1992, will now play either India or West Indies in Sunday’s final at Edgbaston.

England, whose local hero Joe Root top-scored with 65 and returned an excellent economy rate of just 7.25 per over, really missed injured paceman Chris Jordan and were not helped by having to bat in fading light when their run chase began in earnest. But New Zealand, who were twice beaten by England at this event in 2010 and 2012, put together an excellent reply with the bat before brilliant death bowling sealed a famous win.

Chris Jordan was injured after bowling just three balls Chris Jordan was injured after bowling just three balls And although they lost both regular wickets early – Martin Guptill, in particular, struggled before his stroke-filled innings of 52 ended when he dragged the ball on to his stumps off Adil Rashid – New Zealand never looked like losing. Taylor, who made an unbeaten 102 from just 54 balls with 10 fours and five sixes, especially looked in fine touch. And England’s lack of penetration with the ball was emphasised when they failed to take a wicket in the last four overs of their reply. Root and Jos Buttler produced half-century stands for the third and fourth wickets – but only after New Zealand were again wobbling at 116 for three. England’s attack looked wayward as they struggled for consistency against an outstanding batting display from their opponents. England will rue another failed ICC tournament after being beaten by Sri Lanka in the final of the Champions Trophy four years ago and losing last year’s World T20 final against West Indies. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum admitted having a broken wrist had been a “distraction” but his outstanding 58 from 32 balls, with six fours and two sixes, helped see his side home. The Black Caps began in positive fashion but lost dangerous left-hander Luke Ronchi to the fourth ball after he moved down the pitch at Tom Curran to play on. Guptill fell in similar fashion when Ben Stokes found bounce outside off stump to claim a good low catch at first slip. Boult, who took three for 36 in his four-over spell, also had to depart when he was trapped lbw by leg-spinner Rashid as England struck twice in nine balls to rein back New Zealand’s run rate.