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|Colin de Grandhomme||7||5||1||0||140.00|
|Colin de Grandhomme||4.0||0||32||1||8.00|
New Zealand suffered a loss at home as they failed to defend a challenging total of 243 against Australia in the last match; they continue to be at the 2nd position with 2 points, and will take on England, which is yet to win a match, at Hamilton on 18th February. The English continue to be dominated and will need to win this contest to stay alive; it needs to be seen if the hosts can make a comeback here to take on their neighbours in the finals.
Martin Guptill’s stunning 105 off 54 deliveries that took their total to 243 runs in the last match was overshadowed by the Aussie top-order’s heroics as the visitors snatched victory away from the hosts by 5 wickets. The Kiwi opener smashed away 9 sixes and 6 boundaries, and with help from Colin Munro who posted 76 off 33, New Zealand built a solid foundation batting first. However, the bowlers failed miserably and gave away runs to the determined Aussie batsmen, leading to a colossal loss despite a gigantic total. Bowlers like Ben Wheeler and Colin de Grandhomme were battered by the visitors, while Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi fought hard to contain the run-flow. Their efforts went in vain as they had no answer for hard-hitters D’Arcy Short and Warner.
Earlier, against England, they easily defended 196 runs thanks to Santner and Sodhi’s 2-wicket haul each, and a superb show by Boult and Southee who took 3 wickets between them. Williamson had led from the front with a well-made 72 while Guptill scored 65 runs; players like Chapman, Seifert and Ross Taylor add depth to the batting line-up and could stabilize the innings here against the English pace.
The Kiwis have retained the 2nd spot till now and will fight hard to make it to the finals with the home advantage on their side.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, KS Williamson, Mark Chapman, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Seifert, Mitchell Santner, TG Southee, IS Sodhi, TA Boult.
Chasing 197 against the Kiwis, Alex Hales and Dawid Malan posted a 65-run partnership but the others down the line failed to perform under pressure, and they lost the match by 12 runs. They have experienced batsmen like Jason Roy, James Vince, Jos Buttler, Sam Billings and David Willey down the order, who could help them post a challenging total while batting first or chase one comfortably. They will need to pull up their socks and come up with a better performance here on Sunday. Earlier, pacers Mark Wood and Chris Jordan took 3 wickets between them while spinner Adil Rashid took 2-36, but they ended up facing a target of 197.
They had a disappointing match against Australia earlier, as they could muster only 137 runs batting first. Stand-in captain Jos Buttler top-scored with 46 while James Vince and Sam Billings contributed with 20+ runs each but others like Hales, Malan and Willey failed to impress much. Jordan and Willey took 3 wickets between them with their pace, but it was a tough ask to defend the humble total.
England is yet to come out all guns blazing, and if they could do so it will help them be in the running till the end. They have good resources with bat and ball and must strategize well against the Kiwi batsmen.
JJ Roy, AD Hales, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Sam Billings, LA Dawson, David Willey, AU Rashid, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran.
New Zealand has the upper hand here, having won a game earlier and with the home advantage; although England could put up a tough fight, we feel that the Kiwis are better motivated to win here.