Eng­land fluff their lines as Ki­wis draw level

The National - News - - SPORT -

The safe hands of Colin de Grand­homme proved cru­cial as New Zealand drew level with Eng­land in their best-of-five Twenty20 in­ter­na­tional series in Welling­ton.

While De Grand­homme pouched all four skied balls that went his way, Eng­land were left to rue an un­com­fort­able day in the field with six spilled chances in­clud­ing three by James Vince.

Vince had starred in the series-open­ing win in Christchur­ch on Fri­day with a half-cen­tury but he shelled three of Eng­land’s five dropped catches as the Black Caps posted 176-8.

Martin Gup­till at the top of the in­nings smashed 41 off 28 de­liv­er­ies, while Jimmy Nee­sham belted 42 off 22, in­clud­ing four sixes, be­fore he was re­moved on the fi­nal ball of the in­nings.

De Grand­homme also pushed the pace, fac­ing only 12 balls for a whirl­wind 28 to set up the 21-run vic­tory.

Saqib Mah­mood took 1-46 on his in­ter­na­tional de­but af­ter re­plac­ing Tom Cur­ran in the only change to Eng­land’s line-up while Lewis Gre­gory had a wicket with his first de­liv­ery in in­ter­na­tional cricket – the first English­man to do so in this for­mat since Joe Denly, who the Som­er­set all-rounder has re­placed in the side.

Eng­land in re­ply looked com­fort­able at 91-4 in the 11th over be­fore New Zealand re­moved the re­main­ing six wick­ets to end the in­nings with a ball to spare.

Mitchell Sant­ner claimed 3-25 while Tim Southee, Lockie Fer­gu­son and Ish Sodhi took two wick­ets apiece.

Eng­land cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan said it was easy to an­a­lyse the rea­sons for the loss, and the is­sues were re­pairable.

“We dropped catches and we con­tin­ued to lose wick­ets,” he said.

“We need to keep the at­tack­ing mind­set. I think it’s im­por­tant to make mis­takes, but I think the most im­por­tant part is to learn from them.”

Af­ter Eng­land lost Johnny Bairstow first ball, and Vince in the sec­ond over, Mor­gan (32) and Dawid Malan (39) set about re­build­ing the in­nings.

But when Mor­gan gave De Grand­homme his first catch, the wick­ets fell reg­u­larly with only Chris Jor­dan (36 off 19) pro­vid­ing any re­sis­tance at the lower part of the bat­ting or­der.

Malan fell to an ex­cep­tional div­ing catch by Gup­till who also ac­counted for the wicket of Jor­dan.

The Eng­land bats­man had clob­bered leg-spin­ner Sodhi for three sixes, in­ject­ing fresh life into the con­test, but Sant­ner stopped the car­nage by dis­miss­ing the bats­man and ef­fec­tively end­ing the con­test.

“When the field­ers are back­ing the bowlers up, it makes it that much eas­ier,” said man-ofthe-match Sant­ner.

“We just needed to im­prove a lit­tle bit in all three as­pects [from Christchur­ch],” he added. The third match takes place in Nel­son on Tues­day.

Eoin Mor­gan’s team dropped as many as five catches in the Welling­ton T20, which the hosts won by 21 runs


New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi, right, took two wick­ets against Eng­land in Welling­ton

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