Champions Trophy 6th Match: Clinical England pummel New Zealand to advance to Champions Trophy semi-finals

Ball was named Man of the Match for his figures of 2-31 off eight overs

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A brilliant all-round performance from England saw them demolish New Zealand by 87 runs in Cardiff and book their spot in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.

England made a cautious start after being asked to bat first, but disaster struck in the eighth over when Jason Roy was clean bowled by Adam Milne for 13.

Alex Hales and Joe Root made up for the loss of Roy with an 81-run partnership, during which Hales brought up his half-century.

However, he was unable to make the most of it as he was cleaned up by Milne for 56 off 62 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes.

Hales scored his 10th ODI fifty

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Captain Eoin Morgan fell shortly after, but Root and Ben Stokes steadied things with a 54-run stand, during which Root surpassed his half-century, before he was clean bowled by Corey Anderson for 64 off 65 deliveries, which included four boundaries and two sixes.

Root’s fantastic form with the bat continued

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England began to lose wickets at regular intervals after Root was dismissed, including that of Stokes for 48, but thanks to wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 61, which came off 48 balls and included two boundaries and two sixes, the hosts managed to make 310 before being bowled out with three balls left.

Buttler struck his 14th half-century in ODI cricket

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Milne and Anderson picked up three wickets apiece, while Tim Southee snapped up two, and Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 311 to win, New Zealand got off to a horrible start as opener Luke Ronchi was clean bowled by Jake Ball for a golden duck on the fourth ball of the innings.

Martin Guptill and captain Kane Williamson stabilised the innings with a 62-run partnership before Guptill was sent packing by Ben Stokes for 27.

Williamson and Ross Taylor kept the runs flowing with a 95-run partnership, during which Williamson sailed past his fifty.

With the Black Caps having entered cruise control mode, England were in need of a wicket, and it was Mark Wood who delivered it as he had Williamson caught behind for 87, which came off 98 balls and included eight boundaries.

Williamson’s 30th ODI fifty went in vain

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Taylor went on to make 39 before he was caught by Root at midwicket off the bowling of Ball.

Once Taylor was gone, New Zealand completely collapsed, thanks in large to Liam Plunkett, as they went from 168/4 to being bowled out for 223.

Plunkett inflicted the most damage as he finished with four wickets, while Ball and Adil Rashid took two wickets apiece. Wood and Stokes, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each.

Williamson was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “They bat very deep with a lot of power, so restricting them wasn’t a bad effort. In all areas, England outplayed us today. Credit to the way they went about their business, especially with the ball in hand.

“We were trying to get momentum, and increasing that run-rate to chase down the total. It was a tough job, England used the dimensions of the ground well, the wind was a big factor, and the pitch was a bit two-faced.”

Morgan was delighted to have qualified for the semi-finals, and said: “We weren’t that pleased at the half-way stage, maybe 30 short of par. But it shows with the batting line-up we’ve got, upwards of 300 always leaves you in with a shout.

“We hit the wicket hard, no value in full with the short straight boundaries. We weren’t too greedy, just hit the seam on a good length. It feels good to be in the semis but we are not satisfied. We want to fulfil our potential.”

Ball was named Man of the Match, and said: “The rain had juiced the pitch up so it was a matter of getting it in the right areas. You have to be prepared to go round the park now and again, and cherish the days when you come off the field with decent figures.”

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