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England stay afloat

- Everything goes right for Luke, again
Luke Wright en route to his 76, in Pallekele, on Saturday

Pallekele: Steven Finn and Luke Wright played stellar roles as defending champions England revived their title hopes with a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in their Super Eights match of the World T20, here, on Saturday.

For England, Finn achieved the best figures in a World Twenty20 match — three for 16 — before Wright hit a 43-ball 76 as England chased down the target of 149 with seven balls to spare. Wright has been playing exceptionally well.

After a disciplined England bowling performance restricted New Zealand to a modest 148 for six, England got off to a cautious start but soon Wright, who smashed five fours and five sixes, sent the bowlers on a leather hunt. He was well supported by Eoin Morgan (30) at the other end..

England lost opener Craig Kieswetter (4) early but thereafter Alex Hales (22), Wright and Morgan made sure that there were no hiccup on the road to victory. The defeat, their second after the loss to Sri Lanka, left New Zealand on the brink of an early elimination.

Earlier, Finn rattled New Zealand by taking wickets at regular intervals. James Franklin, with an useful 50 off 33 balls, and captain Ross Taylor (28), were the only batsmen who played responsibly after the New Zealand decided to bat on winning the toss.

New Zealand did not have an ideal start as Finn dismissed opener Martin Guptill (5) in the second over of the match, followed by the wicket of in-form Brendon McCullum (10) in his next over.

Rob Nicol (11) and Kane Williamson (17) also had a brief stay at the crease while Graeme Swann (1/20) and Danny Briggs (1/36) chipped in with a wicket apiece to leave the Black Caps reeling at 67 for four in 11.4 overs.

Meanwhile, England were fined for maintaining a slow over-rate . Broad’s team were ruled to be one over short of their target at the end of the match, when time allowances were taken into consideration.