Hales, Root lead England's march into semi-finals

Alex Hales started with intent as England batted under cloudy skies Getty Images

An impressive 81-run stand for the second wicket between Alex Hales and Joe Root helped England seal their berth in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy, comfortably beating New Zealand by 87 runs in Cardiff on Tuesday.

New Zealand's captain, Kane Williamson, won the toss and opted to bowl first saying that he wanted to get any potential rain-DLS-chase equation in his favour, given New Zealand, despite being in a strong position against Australia, was forced to share points due to rain on June 2. England's top order, Hales and Root in particular, made use of home conditions and took New Zealand's seamers to task, after Jason Roy fell in the eighth over.

Root began cautiously and went five overs without finding the fence, but Hales at the other end made up by hitting three fours and one six.The duo scored at 6.23 runs an over in the 13 over that they batted together. Hales finally departed in the 21st over for a 62-ball 56. Root, with a top score of 64, fell in the 34th over after hitting four fours and two sixes. His stand with Hales, set the stage for a late onslaught that guided England to a massive 310. New Zealand managed just 223 in reply.