England becomes the third team to qualify for semi-finals in World Cup 2019 (Image Credit: Getty)
Jonny Bairstow’s 106 off 99 balls along with Mark Wood’s 3/34 helped England seal semi-final berth in ICC World Cup 2019. Batting first, England got off to a perfect start with both Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy hammering the ball all-around the ground and eventually registering 123-run stand. Their contribution, along with Morgan’s late-fire 42 off 40 helped host to finish for 305 runs, which on the given day, turned out to be too much for the Kiwis as they fell short by a massive margin of 119 runs at Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.
Earlier in the day, Eoin Morgan, England skipper won the toss and asked the opposition to have a bowl. Both Bairstow and Roy utilised their experience and form to give the perfect platform. In process, the 29-year-old Jonny Bairstow registered his second consecutive ton in the tournament. But like in the last game, he couldn’t convert that century into a big one. He was dismissed by Matt Henry when he was batting on 106. There were small, yet valuable contributions from the other batsmen in the line-up. Skipper Eoin Morgan was the next highest scorer with 42 runs. Ben Stokes, however, never seemed to have got going in the game after registering three consecutive half centuries.
He crawled his way to 11 runs off 27 balls that slowed down the proceedings. Thus, England couldn’t get to a score they would’ve wanted midway through the innings. The hosts, in the end, finished with 305/8 which proved to be quite good enough.
Chasing a mammoth target of 305 runs, New Zealand got off to a worst possible start with Henry Nicholls was sent to back to pavilion for a golden duck. However, the Kiwis missed the trick of using DRS as the ball was missing the stumps, and Henry could have easily survived. His counterpart, Martin Guptill, who is having a forgettable tournament was dismissed for 8 runs. To turn their situation worse, the two match-winners Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor lost their wicket in miserable fashion, with both getting run out.
James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme couldn’t stick around for too long either. The former scored 19 runs off 27 balls before Mark Wood shattered his stumps. De Grandhomme got out to a dismal shot at a crucial situation in the game for 3 runs putting the team in trouble. Just as New Zealand were staring at an ugly loss, Tom Latham came to the rescue. The out-of-form batsman finally found his touch back and scored 57 off 65 balls.
While he did narrow down the margin of loss, Latham couldn’t make it a huge score. New Zealand kept losing wickets regularly once he fell. The team was bundled out for 186 in 45 overs resulting in their third consecutive loss in the tournament. However, seeing the current equation, they are likely to qualify for the later stages as Pakistan’s qualification looks hazy from a distance now.