England opener Jason Roy turned the World T20’s first semifinals into a one-sided contest by shutting the door on New Zealand much before the seven-wicket triumph was achieved at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.
After restricting New Zealand to 153 for eight, England covered the distance by riding on a whirlwind 78 from Roy, the Man of the Match, who brought the 35,000-strong crowd repeatedly to its feet by hoisting two sixes and 11 boundaries in a ruthless display of strokeplay.
By the time Roy left, bowled by leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, the score was 110. Though skipper Eoin Morgan fell to the first ball he faced and left Sodhi eyeing a hat-trick, Jos Buttler joined Joe Root and the two ensured that Roy’s absence was not felt.
Buttler’s four and two sixes off Sodhi in the 17th over that produced 22 runs hastened the end. When the 18th over started, Buttler was again in the midst of action. He signalled England’s entry into the final in style by hoisting Santner for six over mid-wicket.
Earlier, unlike the first four matches, Kane Williamson lost the toss. But Morgan dared to field first, letting the Kiwis in their comfort zone. After all, New Zealand had batted first and won all four times.
And if the six over of power-play was anything to go by, New Zealand was well on way to set a challenging total.
Though Martin Guptill could not get going hitting three boundaries in 15, Wiliamson and Monro put the score at 51 at the end of the power-play. The duo continued to build on the early momentum and raised 74 runs with New Zealand looking for a big total having reached 91 in the 11th over.
As it turned out, it was at this point that the proceedings took a turn in favour of England. And there was no other twist. It was England all the way — first the bowlers and openers that shut the door firmly on New Zealand.
Moeen Ali provided the breakthrough by holding on to a return catch offered by Williamson. Munro, the more aggressive partner in the second-wicket stand fell 16 runs later with Moeen completing the dismissal off Liam Plunkett.
After Ross Taylor failed to play to his reputation once again, New Zealand’s hopes of setting up a challenging total suffered a twin-blow with Ben Stokes sending back Luke Ronchi and a well-set Cory Anderson off successive deliveries in the 18th over.
Thereafter, the New Zealand innings crawled to 153, a total that looked below par. And the way England got off to a flier, the target was made to look even smaller.
ENG:- 159/3 (17.1 Ovs)
NZ:- 153/8 (20.0 Ovs)
England won by 7 wkts