New Zealand Level Series Thanks to Santner Spell
Santner Helped New Zealand to a Win

New Zealand beat England by 21 runs to win their second T20I in Wellington, levelling their five match series.

Both sides showed one change from the previous match in Christchurch – New Zealand brought in Jimmy Neesham for Scott Kugellijn, whilst England gave a debut to Saqib Mahmood in place of Tom Curran.

England won the toss and decided to bowl first, but New Zealand got off to a reasonable start, with Martin Guptill and Colin Munro putting on 23 for the first wicket, until Munro was lbw to Sam Curran for 7. Guptill and Tom Seiffert then combined, adding 34, until Seiffert was caught behind for 16, giving Mahmood his first wicket in international cricket.

Guptill though was in fine form and, accompanied by Colin de Grandhomme, he took his score to 41, including 2 sixes, until he was caught by James Vince off Adil Rashid. Lewis Gregory then had de Grandhomme, who had struck 3 sixes, bowled in the next over for 28. Ross Taylor came to the crease, and together with Daryll Mitchell, they added 25, until Mitchell was caught by Chris Jordan off Sam Curran.

That brought Jimmy Neesham to the middle, and he was the man who really imposed himself on the innings, adding 30 with Taylor for the sixth wicket. Taylor, who had hit one six, was lbw to Jordan for 28, and Mitchell Santner was caught by Patrick Brown, two balls later off the same bowler, but Neesham was in destructive form, and he struck 42 off just 22 balls, including 2 sixes and 2 fours, before he was out to Jordan off the last ball of the innings.

Captain Tim Southee was undefeated on 4, as New Zealand finished their 20 overs on 176 – 8. Jordan was the pick of the English bowlers with 3 for 23.

England got off to a terrible start, losing Jonny Bairstow first ball, caught by Mitchell off Southee. Then, in the next over Lockie Ferguson had James Vince caught by Santner. Dawid Malan and his skipper Eoin Morgan led a recovery with a stand of 37, but then Morgan, who had just started to find his range with 3 sixes, was caught by de Grandhomme for 32. Billings and Malan added 24, but then Billings gave de Grandhomme more catching practice, and fell for 8 to the spin of Ish Sodhi.

Sam Curran was the next man to go, falling to another catch by that man de Grandhomme, Santner the bowler this time, before Malan, who had held the innings together, scoring 39, including 2 sixes, was caught by Guptill off Sodhi. Jordan looked to offer some resistance, and he scored 36 off 19 balls, including 3 sixes, but he was caught by Guptill off Santner, as England’s hopes started to evaporate.

At the end of the next over, de Grandhomme took his fourth catch of the innings to dismiss Gregory for 15 off Southee, who then turned catcher in the next over as Mahmood fell to Ferguson. The last man out was Rashid, bowled by Mitchell for 4, as England were bowled out for 155 off the penultimate ball of their innings.

Santner took 3 for 25 for New Zealand, whilst there were two wickets apiece for Southee, Ferguson, and Sodhi.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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