England managed to topple over New Zealand in Cardiff to reach the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final despite losing to Sri Lanka earlier in the week. It was a shock when Sri Lanka defeated England with a fantastic showing from one of their cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara, who scored an impressive century, unbeaten at 134. This defeat meant that if England wanted to advance into the quarter-finals of the Champions Trophy, they must have defeated New Zealand and so the pressure was on.
The weather is causing problems in most sports so far this month and it was no different in this match, which ended up being delayed by 5 hours and reduced to 24 overs per side. New Zealand made themselves a target of 170 after England lost their last seven wickets for 28 runs, which was a very realistic target, but England managed to hold on and use the new ball to bowl impressively. Kane Williamson was the only threat to England as he hit 67 off 54 balls, the hosts were able to keep New Zealand quiet and keep them at 159-8.
England are currently the leaders of Group A, but it will only stay like that if Sri Lanka do not defeat Australia today. If England win the Group, they will go on to play South Africa in the semi-final on Wednesday. However, if Sri Lanka beat Australia, England will take the runner-up place and play India in the semi-finals on Thursday. New Zealand will be knocked out unless Australia win by a certain margin; if Australia win by a large enough margin, they will advance into the semi-final, it all depends on the match today.
England Captain Alastair Cook commented after the game, “It was quite a stressful day, a nerve-wracking time. We were 10 runs short but 170 is still a very good score. It was a very fine bowling performance. We were very good in the field today. We don’t mind who we play, we are just glad to be in there. We had a quarter-final in one way today, and now we look forward to a semi-final, whoever that may be against.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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