New Zealand completed their comeback with a
clinical display in the fourth and final T20I in Nottingham to draw level in
the series at 2-2. Jonny Bairstow’s blistering 73 off 41 powered England to a
competitive first innings score of 175, but contributions from Tim Seifert,
Glenn Phillips, and Mark Chapman comfortably drove the Blackcaps home in the
chase with six wickets and 16 balls to spare.
Stand-in captain Moeen Ali opted to bat first
after winning the toss, and Jonny Bairstow gifted England a fast start in the
powerplay. The opener raced to 48 off 24 inside the first six overs, taking
apart the Kiwi pacers Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, and Tim Southee to set England
up for another menacing total.
However, after conceding 63 in the
powerplay, the Kiwi spinners pulled things back nicely for the visitors through
the middle overs. Ish Sodhi nicked off Will Jacks for 15 to give New Zealand
their first breakthrough before Mitchell Santner took the big wicket off Jonny
Bairstow in the 12th over. The opener smashed the left-arm spinner
for six over deep mid-wicket but holed out trying to repeat the trick a ball
later, departing for 73.
Dawid Malan laced Jamieson for three
boundaries after Bairstow’s dismissal, but the Kiwi spinners continued to run
riot. Ish Sodhi had Harry Brook pulling to deep square-leg, while Mitchell
Santner dismissed Malan and Moeen in his final over. The constant wickets
robbed England off any momentum through the death, with the Blackcaps conceding
just 49 off the final seven overs to restrict the hosts to 175.
In reply, Finn Allen gave the Kiwis an
entertaining start to the chase, racing away to 16 off five balls before losing
his off-stump in the second over. Promoted to open the innings in the absence
of the rested Conway, Tim Seifert maximised his chance at the top of the order
to build on Allen’s pyrotechnics.
The keeper threw caution into the wind
against pacers Bryndon Carse and Luke Wood and even went after Adil Rashid in
his rare foray in the powerplay, smoking the leggie for two fours and a six.
Seifert left New Zealand in pole position for victory at 73/1 to end the
powerplay, and Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman completed the job for the
Blackcaps after his dismissal.
Phillips crunched the spinners and Brydon
Carse to score 42 off just 25 deliveries, while Chapman cruised his way to 40
off 25 to take the Kiwis home in style to leave the series all square at 2-2.