England were beaten by New Zealand in the first Twenty20 game yesterday. England nearly made a fantastic comeback, missing out by a mere 6 runs. The final score at the end of the day was New Zealand 201-4 and England 196-5 after both teams faced 20 overs. If England were to get 6 more runs, they could have pulled off a very memorable win. England were just recovering from a narrow loss in the ICC Champions Trophy final against India when they lost by the same margin they did against New Zealand.
With barely any time to get their heads in the right mind-set following the India defeat, the England squad instantly had a difficult score to catch as New Zealand hit 13 runs under their previous Twenty20 best, which was 214-6 set against Australia in February 2010. New Zealand batsmen Hamish Rutherford and Captain Brendon McCullum were on fantastic form as they hit 62 and 68 respectively, giving their team a score of 114 from 67 balls for the second wicket. Before McCullum came on to bat, James Franklin was caught out early scoring no points for the New Zealanders.
The next batters for New Zealand were Ross Taylor and Tom Latham who batted okay until Latham was caught out after scoring 22 runs. Taylor, on the other hand, played better scoring an unbeaten 32 runs rounding off New Zealand’s total score of what ended up being 201-4. England’s fate was in their own hands now and they had to play better than ever in order to make a strong comeback, no matter how unlikely it was.
The England side showed spirit as they never gave up, despite the score looking well out of reach before they even started batting. Michael Lumb was the first to be out for the England side after scoring 29 runs, but then Luke Wright came on to join up with Alex Hales as the duo looked as though they might just pull off what seemed as the impossible. Together, the pair managed to get England to 105 after 10 overs as Hales scored 39 runs whilst Wright managed to score a fantastic total of 52 runs.
With Hales and Wright now out of the game, there was still Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler to bat for England. However, a superb catch from Ross Taylor caught out the England Captain who managed to get 7 runs on the board. To make matters worse for England, Buttler was ran out after scoring 17 runs and after that, there was no more for England as they finished 5 runs short of New Zealand, with a score of 196-5.
After the match, temporary England Captain Eoin Morgan, commented, “The guys showed great character. We thought it was a gettable total but it wasn’t as frustrating as the other night because it was a great performance with the youngsters we have here. One more blow and we would have won it.” England are warming up for the Ashes series coming up against Australia, who now have Darren Lehmann as their new manager, as England hope to retain the title for a third time running.
Author Daniel Foster.
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