Murphy’s Law played a cruel little game with New Zealand last night. With the Kiwis being robbed off a win against Australia in the first game, you could almost sense a loss coming their way in their second encounter. Because the world is a cruel and heartless place, where people who are down are pushed further south. And that is exactly what transpired in Cardiff today. The ever so dominant New Zealand succumbed to a rather tame victory in the end, unable to cope with the scoreboard pressure that the English bowlers had created.
England started off proceedings in typical fashion, scoring a few flashy boundaries before settling into that ‘middle phase strike rotation’ extravaganza. Root played brilliantly yet again, playing the sheet anchor role, and Stokes, Hales and Buttler just played around him, with Buttler finishing off the innings in style to take England beyond 300.
New Zealand had their task cut out but Williamson wanted to ensure that he took things right down to the wire. Guptill and Taylor offered him some support, but once Williamson got out, it just all went downhill for the Kiwis. They are just way too dependent on Williamson at the moment, and unless they dig out another hero, they can’t become world beaters.
With this win England became the first side to qualify for the semi finals, and a win against Australia would guarantee them first spot in Group A. And along with that it would give them the satisfaction of possibly eliminating their fiercest rivals, ever.
Let’s get to business now!
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