England beat New Zealand to reach World T20 final


New Delhi—English cricket’s makeover has delivered a place in the World Twenty20 final in Kolkata on Sunday. New Zealand’s first defeat of the tournament, by seven wickets with 17 balls to spare, ended their involvement. Instead, it is England, an adventurous England freed of old baggage, who lie in wait for the winners of Thursday’s semi-final between India and West Indies in Mumbai.
Jason Roy electrified England’s reply to New Zealand’s far-from-imposing 153 for 8, his 78 from 44 balls ended by Ish Sodhi’s dragged-down legbreak and the crash of timber. “I’ve got to realise I’m not a robot,” Roy said earlier in the tournament. He is precisely the opposite. At his best, he is humanity at its most tempestuous – a mini adrenalin rush – and his first T20I half-century, perfectly timed at the 13th attempt, was the second fastest in England T20 history as he racked it up in 26 balls.
There was wildness about the four boundaries he took from the first over from Corey Anderson, but he middled the ball with increasing certainty, tattooed forearms whirring. A sumptuous straight drive against Mitchell McClenaghan possessed particular poise. After such a scintillating start, he could have reined himself in against Mitchell Santner’s left-arm slows, such has been Santner’s effectiveness throughout the tournament, but instead despatched him with successive straight drive and sweep.
Earlier, Ben Stokes took three wickets as England restricted New Zealand to 153 for eight in the first semi-final of cricket’s World Twenty20 in New Delhi on Wednesday.
New Zealand were put into bat and lost opener Martin Guptill early but skipper Kane Williamson and Colin Munro counter-attacked with a 74-run partnership to lay a solid foundation before the Kiwis faltered late on.
Munro (46) and Williamson (32) proved too hot to handle for England’s pacers as the duo took a special liking to Liam Plunkett and Stokes in the opening stages, both of whom came back well in their second spells.
Left-hander Munro smacked Plunkett for three straight boundaries in the sixth over of the innings to set the pace and his reverse-hit for a six against Adil Rashid brought the house down at a packed Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
But England skipper Eoin Morgan then juggled his bowlers around and off-spinner Moeen Ali’s introduction in the 11th over soon saw the back of Williamson.
Plunkett did well in his second spell to deny the dangerous Munro, whose 32-ball knock included seven boundaries and a six. He was denied his fifty when a wild slice went straight into the safe hands of Ali at third man.
England’s fielders continued to pouch their catches and Morgan dived beautifully at extra cover to get rid of Ross Taylor off Chris Jordan.
The wickets quickly tumbled and New Zealand’s run-rate, which had started impressively, plummeted.
Stokes was going for a hat-trick near the end after sending back Luke Ronchi for three and the hard-hitting Corey Anderson for 28. The impressive all-rounder ended with figures of 3-26 as New Zealand lost five wickets for 35 runs in the final 30 deliveries of their innings.—AFP

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