Wright leads England to victory

England

England kept their defence of the World Twenty20 alive with a comfortable win over New Zealand in Pallekele, surviving an early scare in their chase as Luke Wright's 76 secured the victory by six wickets.

England kept their defence of the World Twenty20 alive with a comfortable win over New Zealand in Pallekele, surviving an early scare in their chase as Luke Wright's 76 secured the victory by six wickets.

England restricted the Black Caps to 148 for six in their 20 overs, with Steve Finn taking career-best 3/16 off his four overs, while only James Franklin could manage a decent knock, scoring 50 off 33 balls.

England's chase got off to a wobbly start when they lost Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales early on, but a partnership of 89 between Eoin Morgan (30) and Wright made sure the chase stayed on course, winning with seven balls to spare.

In the Kiwi innings, Finn reduced them to 20 for two early doors, removing first Martin Guptill and then Brendon McCullum before they could get decent scores on the board. Rob Nicol was also out quickly, recording only 11 before being caught by Jonny Bairstow off Swann.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor tried to steady the ship with the score on 47 for three, and they added 25 runs before Williamson was caught by Craig Kieswetter off Briggs for 17.

This brought Franklin, who should have opened the batting like he had in the previous game, to the middle and he immediately set about upping the run rate. The all-rounder pushed the score above 100 in the 16th over.

Taylor could not continue his supportive role though, hacking Finn to deep mid wicket where Alex Hales took a simple catch, the score on 107 and the partnership just getting going on 40.

Nathan McCullum did what his brother couldn't and added 16 valuable runs in the final overs, including a massive six off Stuart Broad to take the score over 140.

Franklin's innings came to an end with a ball to go, running for a second and not making it, the first of which had brought up his fifty. Kieswetter did a good job to take the boundary throw in front of the stumps and swing his arms to break the bails.

England's innings needed to get off to a good start, with the opening duo under pressure to perform, but Craig Kieswetter's poor form continued and he could only score four runs off 14 balls before being bowled by Dan Vettori.

Alex Hales looked decent against the pace bowlers but as soon as the spinners arrived he looked at sea, and could only make 22 off 15 balls before being bowled by Nathan McCullum in the seventh over.

This forced England to send in Morgan, who came in at five in their previous game, as he is their best player of spin (or any other kind of bowling). He and Wright set about restoring the chase and rained sixes upon the crowd.

Morgan started off slowly, but soon caught up to Wright and they passed the 100 mark in the 15th over, Wright bringing it up with a magnificent straight six off Tim Southee. He ended the over with another six, which brought up his half century.

Morgan, playing a supporting role, made 30 off 31 balls before being wonderfully caught on the ropes by Doug Bracewell, the big man diving to take the catch headed for the long on boundary.

Wright was also unable to walk off unbeaten, his innings ending with a catch in the covers off Doug Bracewell in the 19th over, but it was over bar the shouting as Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow bagged the final 11 runs.

England: Craig Kieswetter, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Danny Briggs, Steve Finn

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, James Franklin, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Rob Nicol, Dan Vettori, Doug Bracewell, Kane Williamson, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills

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