In what appeared to be a repeat of the Cricket World Cup final, England on Sunday defeated New Zealand by 9 runs in a thrilling super over contest of the last T20 International of the series at Aukland cricket ground.
Batting first in a rain-affected match, New Zealand made 146/5 with Martin Guptill scoring 50. He was nicely assisted by Colin Munro, who scored 46 and was unlucky to not have completed his fifty. Wicket-keeper Tim Seifert too made a quickfire 39 runs in just 19 balls.
In response, England too made 146/7 in 11 overs, taking the contest to the super over. Jonny Bairstow made 47 runs in just 18 balls. Captain Eoin Morgan, who had made 91 runs in the fourth T20I of the series, scored 17 in 11 balls.
In the super over, England made 17, while New Zealand were restricted to just 8, thanks to English bowler Chris Jordan. Bairstow and Morgan had taken England’s super over challenge, while Guptill and Seifert had come to bat for the hosts.
Today’s victory meant that England won the five-match T20 International series 3-2.
In the 50-over cricket, World Cup final played in England in July this year, the hosts had defeated New Zealand in the super over.
Reacting to today’s win, Morgan told the BBC, “It’s absolutely remarkable. We didn’t expect to play much cricket today and it’s turned out to be an epic end to a series where there wasn’t much between the two sides.
“To win it in such a fashion with a young, inexperienced side in the long term will pay huge dividends for us.”
New Zealand captain Tim Southee said, “The shorter the game, the harder the side can go. It would have been nice to have one more run there somewhere but it wasn’t to be.
“It’s been a good series throughout – it has ebbed and flowed. It will be good to get the whites back on.”
Jordan said that the experience of playing in a T10 competition helped him and a few others in the England team outsmarted New Zealand on Sunday. He said, “A few of us have played T10 cricket so the mood was very calm the entire way through. I just tried to keep a clear mind.”
Scores in brief
New Zealand 146-5: Guptill 50 (20), Munro 46 (21)
England 146-7: Bairstow 47 (18), Santner 2-20
England 17, New Zealand 8 in super over
England won by nine runs in super over; England won series 3-2