Match reports

England v New Zealand

Wisden's review of England v New Zealand

Lawrence Booth
Lawrence Booth
At Delhi, March 30, 2016 (floodlit). England won by seven wickets. Toss: England.
England's unexpectedly enjoyable tryst with Delhi continued with a ruthless win, earning a trip to Eden Gardens. If the headlines went to Roy, whose 44-ball 78 turned the chase into a stroll, then victory was set up by the seamers, who had limited New Zealand to 20 runs for the loss of five wickets in their last four overs. It was death bowling by asphyxiation. The New Zealanders had barely caught their breath when - with England chasing a modest 154 - Roy flashed and carved a quartet of fours in the first over, bowled by Anderson. McClenaghan's first over went for 13, as did Milne's second; after 4.2, England had 50, and Roy's maiden half-century at this level needed only 26 deliveries. By the time Hales lifted Santner to long-on in the ninth over, the score was 82, and the game all but over. Sodhi briefly threatened to reprise the tactic that had served New Zealand so well during their group games, when the spinners strangled opposition middle orders. He bowled Roy, advancing at - and playing round - a leg-break, then trapped Morgan first ball. But the Feroz Shah Kotla was the least spin-friendly of the five surfaces the New Zealanders had encountered, and England batted deep. Root and Buttler took 22 off Sodhi's final over to level the scores, before Buttler pulled Santner for the winning six with 17 balls to spare. Only when Munro was slashing and reverse-swatting his way to 46 had New Zealand looked in the game. But a promising ten-over total of 89 for one gave way to anticlimax. Williamson ballooned a return catch to Ali, who then held on at third man as Munro chased a wide one from Plunkett. And, from 133 for three after 16 overs, Jordan and Stokes - who found himself on a hat-trick after removing Ronchi and Anderson with low full tosses - took over. England, a figure of white-ball fun at the 50-over World Cup a year earlier, were laughing all the way to Kolkata.
Man of the Match: J. J. Roy.