Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England opener Jonny Bairstow hammered a superb 106 to not only lead his side to a 119-run win over New Zealand in Durham, but also into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1992.
England will join Australia and India in the last four, while New Zealand will now have to wait on the outcome of Pakistan’s clash with Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday. If Pakistan win, it will come down to the net run rate between them and the men in green on who clinches the last semi-final spot.
Choosing to bat first, England got off to a brilliant start as Bairstow and Jason Roy amassed a 123-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their fifties, before Roy was dismissed by James Neesham for a 61-ball 60, which included eight boundaries.
Bairstow and Joe Root added 71 runs to the score, during which Bairstow registered his hundred, before Root was caught behind off the bowling of Trent Boult for 24.
Bairstow went on to score 106, which came off 99 deliveries and included 15 boundaries and a six, before he was clean bowled by Matt Henry.
Jos Buttler only made 11 runs before he was caught by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at mid-off off the bowling of Boult.
Ben Stokes also scored 11 runs before being dismissed by Mitchell Santner, while Chris Woakes became Neesham’s second victim.
England skipper Eoin Morgan managed to smash a 40-ball 42 before he was brilliantly caught by Santner at cover off the bowling of Henry.
With Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett scoring 16 and 15 not out respectively, England finished on 305/8.
Boult, Henry and Neesham picked up two wickets apiece, while Santner and Tim Southee chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 306 to win, New Zealand were dealt a big blow on the fifth ball of the innings as opener Henry Nicholls was trapped lbw off the bowling of Woakes for a golden duck.
However, replays showed that the ball would have gone over the stumps.
Martin Guptill, who opened the batting with Nicholls, only mustered eight runs before he was brilliantly caught behind by Buttler off the bowling of Jofra Archer.
Taylor went on to score 28 before he was run out by Rashid.
Tom Latham and Neesham halted England’s charge with a 54-run stand before Neesham was clean bowled by Wood for 19.
Colin de Grandhomme was sent packing by Stokes for three runs, while Latham ended up making a 65-ball 57, which included five boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Plunkett.
Wood then took out Santner and Henry before New Zealand were bowled out for 186 when Boult was stumped by Buttler off the bowling of Rashid for four runs.
Wood was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Woakes, Archer, Plunkett, Rashid and Stokes claimed one wicket each.
Bairstow was named Man of the Match.