England secure solid T20 total against NZ


Requiring a win by 20 runs or more to pip the Black Caps for a final berth on net run-rate, England were sent out to bat and notched a solid 194-7 total.

Set a target of 195 victory and 175 for progression to the final, the Black Caps hit the latter easily in Hamilton but couldn't quite reach the former.

He scored his 80 from just 46 deliveries.

Santner was brought back into the New Zealand side after Ben Wheeler's expensive outing at Eden Park against Australia.

'It was as if he had never been away, ' said Morgan, who declared himself fit for today's match after a groin injury.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has come out in strong support of the Twenty20 format, saying it forms a "meaningful" part of the worldwide game. Stokes, 26, whose last involvement with England was nearly five months ago, could have taken a recovery day but donned an orange bib to referee the warm-up football match, played a full part in the team's stretches and fielding drills and later took to the nets for a bat.

Even when Australia had England at 3/41 in the Champions Trophy he still made a decision to play his naturally aggressive game.

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With one ball remaining, de Grandhomme required four runs to win - but could only hit down the ground and into the grateful arms of an English fielder.

"It is quite obvious that [Australia's] players have all come out of two months of T20 cricket, whereas both New Zealand and England have been playing other forms or, as is the case for some of our guys, sitting at home", he said.

Malan then smashed the free hit over the stands at deep midwicket for his fifth six, taking him to his half-century from 32 balls.

Rashid bowled his four overs for 22 runs, claiming the wicket of Munro and significantly slowing New Zealand's progress.

"I think [the first ODI] might be a bit early for him - and as we won our last series 4-1 [against Australia] there might not be a spot for him!"

Plunkett has been used as a strike bowler for England in limited overs cricket, with his height and bounce ideal for an enforcer role, and Overton may be asked to perform a similar role if he gets the nod in the starting side.

ENGLAND crashed out of the Tri Series despite Eoin Morgan inspiring victory in their final game.