Thursday, March 31, 2016

World Cup T 20 - Semi finals - New Zealand vs England

The 1st semifinals of this World Cup between unbeaten thus far New Zealand & a resurgent England at Kotla grounds of New Delhi. The pre match predictions & the heart would have me tilted towards the Kiwis from Down Under, but the metal maths would tilt towards the English.
Morgan won the crucial toss & decided to chase....an excellent decision under the circumstances, as they have done very well chasing, especially the one against SA.
Willey opened the bowling as Guptill & Williamson took guard at the stumps. Guptill was his fluid best & 11 runs came of the opening over including two boundaries. But just as the momentum was building up, Guptill gave it away nicking behind & Willey had his revenge...a huge huge wicket for England, as the score read 23 for 1. Next man in Munro launched himself in immediately as the wicket looked placid & full of runs. At the end of powerplays it was 51 for 1....a good platform to launch an all out attack on the bowling, & when the score reached 89 for 1 after 10 overs, the Kiwiws looked good to finish over 180. But that's from where the wheels of fortune started to change. Williamson was consumed by Moeen Ali & shortly afterwards Munro perished to Plunkett, caught at third man for a well made 46. Suddenly the score had slid to 111 for 3 7 England were right back in the game. Middle order batsmen Anderson, Ross Taylor, Ronchi, Elliot, all failed to capitalise with a big score, as Kiwis innings slowed down painfully to end at 153 for 8. They could manage only 20 runs off the last four slog overs, losing 5 wickets. The final score surely looked a good 20 - 25 runs short of a par score. It was a tad disappointing, after such a fine flourish at the top. Given that this was a semi final match, the score was tricky indeed, & New Zealand had defended all their totals till now.

England started the chase with Jason Roy & Alex Hales.....& it called for a blistering start from them. And blistering it was. Roy simply tore into the otherwise reliable Kiwi bowling attack. 17 runs came off the very first over, & England were right on the driver's seat. At the end of the powerplays, it was 67 without loss & only 87 more were required at almost a run a ball. Hales left in the 9th over, but Roy continued to plunder runs at will, as both pace & spin were taken to cleaners. He was finally bowled between the legs by Sodhi in the 13th over, but by then he had bludgeoned a magnificent 78 off just 44 deliveries. Morgan got out in the very next delivery, but Root & Butler continued where Roy had left. In the end, Root was unbeaten at 27 & Butler at 32, as they raced past the target in the 18th over..... it was all too simple for England in the end.
Jason Roy was the obvious Man of the Match. They have now entered the finals & await the winners of India vs West Indies.
Remarkable win this was for England. After the pasting they got in the first match, they have done a fantastic turn around, winning all games from there on.... & winning quite convincingly. The team looks in super nick, with Roy giving some pulsating crack at the top & the Root & Butler & Stokes whipping the middle & end overs. The bowling too looks menacing enough, & they have depth in both the departments. They certainly have surprised me & am sure a lot others with their performances till now.

New Zealand would be left to rue their performance today. One off day & they go out of the competition. They looked good throughout the group stages, but on the day of reckoning, they just fell short.

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