New Zealand bounced back emphatically in
the third T20I at Birmingham to hand England a comprehensive 74-run defeat, keeping
the four-match series alive at 2-1. Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips powered the Blackcaps
to a commanding first-innings score of 202/5 with a pair of half-centuries
before Kyle Jamieson and Ish Sodhi took three wickets apiece to skittle the
hosts for 128 in 18.3 overs.
Having won the toss and chosen to bat first,
New Zealand cast aside their chastening defeats in the first two matches and
delivered a much-improved showing on a dry Edgbaston wicket. The visitors did
lose Devon Conway to a run-out inside the powerplay, but Finn Allenn found some
timely boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking early on. The opener gave the
Blackcaps a strong platform for a big score, getting to his half-century off 35
deliveries to take New Zealand to 86/2 at the halfway mark.
Liam Livingstone pegged the visitors back
with the wicket of Tim Seifert in the tenth over, but the English spinners came
under fire through the back half of the innings as Finn Allen and Glenn
Phillips combined to put on an 88-run stand. The opener started New Zealand’s
charge by carting Adil Rashid for three sixes in a row to start the 15th over
before Glenn Phillips took over at the death, creaming Chris Jordan and Luke
Wood for a flurry of boundaries.
With Moeen Ali surprisingly unused on his
home ground, Jos Buttler was forced to toss the ball to Liam Livingstone in the
18th over, and the decision backfired as Phillips smashed the part-timer for
three sixes to get to his 27-ball fifty and take New Zealand to 202/5 in 20
in response, the England chase stuttered
from the outset as the new-look Kiwi pace attack featuring Kyle Jamieson and
Matt Henry thwarted the hosts inside the powerplay. Jamieson made the first
breakthrough with the wicket of Will Jacks before Tim Southee ended Dawid
Malan’s distressed innings of 2 from 11 deliveries.
England’s troubles compounded when Jonny
Bairstow smashed a long-hop from Ish Sodhi to the man in the deep before Harry
Brook skied the leg-spinner to long-on in his next over, leaving the hosts
reeling at 55/4. Jos Buttler provided some temporary entertainment for the home
crowd, adding a quickfire 40 off 21 deliveries, but mistimed a slog against
Mitchell Santner in the 13th over to end any hopes of a miracle chase. The
hosts folded in a hurry after Buttler’s dismissal, losing their last five
wickets for 33 runs to be dismissed for 128.