England book semi-final berth with 87-run win over New Zealand

Author

07 June, 2017

England can book their Champions Trophy semi-final berth early if they beat New Zealand in Cardiff - and Eoin Morgan is confident they have the firepower and self-belief to do so.

Victory saw England into the last four of a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day worldwide sides after an eight-wicket defeat of Bangladesh at the Oval last week, regardless of the result of their last Group A match against arch-rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.

"Jake Ball takes the new ball today, hopefully he goes well".

Put into bat at a blustery Swalec Stadium, England set the Black Caps 311 to win - their 23rd score over 300 since the 2015 World Cup - before bowling them out for 223 in 44.3 overs.

First, Williamson added 62 runs with Guptill for the second wicket and later 95 with Taylor for the third wicket.

England have now assured themselves of a return to Cardiff for a June 14 semi-final against the runners-up in Group B, regardless of the result of their final pool match against arch-rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.

New Zealand face Bangladesh in their Group A finale and will need to win and hope England deny Australia victory to progress.

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Chasing 235 in 33 overs, Australia were put under severe pressure by New Zealand, reducing them to 53 for three in nine overs before rain had the final say.

Fast bowler Liam Plunkett captured four wickets for 55 runs while pacer Jack Ball and leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed two wickets each.

Victory saw England, who beat Bangladesh by eight wickets at the Oval in their Group A opener, into the last four of a tournament featuring the world s top eight one-day global teams regardless of the result of their last pool fixture against arch-rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Alex Hales and Joe Root made up for the loss of Roy with an 81-run partnership, during which Hales brought up his half-century.

England players who were present in the dressing room came out on the balcony to observe a minute's silence while New Zealand players did the same from the ground.

Mark Wood dismissed the risky Williamson on 87 with a ball that exploded off the pitch and was duly edged to Jos Buttler, before Taylor (39) went three overs later when he picked out Root at midwicket off Ball.

Once Corey Anderson's wicket fell, England knew they were into the last four. With Joe Root (64) nicely rotating the strike and playing the ideal supporting role to Hales, the duo brought their 50-run stand at nearly run-a-ball. In terms of head-to-head, New Zealand holds the advantage with 41 wins against England's 36 wins.


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