With a thumping victory over New Zealand, England became the first team to cruised into the semifinal of Champions Trophy. The victory of 87 runs took a dig on New Zealand, whose batting line-up rattled down after the opening partnership stretch. England posed a target of 311 in the inning with three half centuries and strong partnerships. The players were slow but steady on the score. England lost its batsmen but it did not stop the team from posing a 300 plus target. The toil of the squad was apparent playing though those annoying short deliveries from New Zealand bowlers.
The half-centurions in England’s inning were Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jos Butler. Hales and Root delivered the first partnership inning of the match at number three lasting 13 overs to haul the score pass 100 runs. Hales scored 56 off 62, while Root played until the 34th over bringing 64 off 65 balls. Ben Stokes delivered a strong inning of 48 runs, which was crucial for the team. For the last 20 overs, Jos Butler steered the inning remaining unbeaten until the end. He scored 61 off 48 pairing with the lower order. Moeen Ali, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid played brief stretches in the last overs. Southee ended the inning ducking Mark Wood and Jake Ball in the final over.
New Zealand set off the chase headstrong. Kane Williamson played since the beginning after Luke Ronchi was taken down in the fourth ball of the first over. Opener Guptill took the partnership to the 14th over adding 27 from his side. Ross Taylor and Williamson took the chase to 158 for 2. The players added 95 runs playing 17 overs together. The latter scored 87 off 98 balls while Taylor added 39 playing 59 balls. The chase slogged after Williamson’s wicket in the 31st over. The team lost the last eight wickets for 67 runs in 14 overs. New Zealand scrambled to defeat.
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