Inn Allen and Glenn Phillips inspired a much-improved New Zealand to a 74-run win in the third T20 as England’s perfect start to the white-ball summer came to an abrupt end.
After two woeful batting performances in the first two games of the series, the Black Caps were 2-0 down, Allen’s 83 and Phillips’ 69 from just 34 balls gave Jos Buttler’s Black Caps a massive target in the Edgbaston sunshine of 203 sets.
Despite a quick 40 from Buttler himself, England’s fightback never got off the ground, Dawid Malan’s massive two off 11 balls in the powerplay representing a notable low point in terms of World Cup selection as the hosts were bowled out for 128 with nine balls to spare.
New Zealand have a chance to level the four-match series in Nottingham on Tuesday before attention turns to the One-Day International leg, which begins in Cardiff at the end of the week.
This series represents England’s main preparation for defense in the autumn World Cup and after adding seamer Brydon Carse to their bowling options this morning, calls for Buttler and Matthew Mott to also retain in-form batsman Harry Brook are only increasing increasing louder after Malan’s failure here.
Prior to the start of this competition, no New Zealand player had ever surpassed 50 points in the series, and as a collective they had not reached three figures better than six points. Here, however, the platform was laid more efficiently, Devon Conway’s hesitation and Moeen Ali’s run out from deep being the only early blunder, although Allen would also have been gone on the 26th had Malan not missed the stumps with his diving forearm.
Tim Seifert was also let off the hook when Will Jacks parried a catch into the fence that should have been left to Chris Jordan’s famous hand-eye. The 34-year-old brought Wood into the squad alongside Luke as one of two changes as Sam Curran and Carse were rested on Sunday afternoon. That mistake didn’t prove too costly, Seifert fell soon after on 19 as Liam Livingstone found a sharp turn and Buttler was even sharper behind the stumps.
However, Allen began to attack. The opener reached his half-century in 35 balls and then went on to hit Adil Rashid for three consecutive sixes – over extra cover, cow’s corner and finally the bowler’s head – before finally losing his off-stump to Wood.
Phillips took the baton on a hot afternoon for England’s spin attack – or at least the two-thirds of them that Buttler dared to throw the ball to. Moeen was conspicuous by his absence, the vice-captain’s off-spin held back as the New Zealand right-handers overstayed their welcome, but that left Livingstone bowled to a set Phillips in the 18th over, who tucked in and scored three maximums of his own around the ugly all-rounder -Figures to complete from One-for-55.
Less than 48 hours after his great debut, Gus Atkinson at least impressed at the death once again, finally ending Phillip’s stay with a clever slower ball yorker before taking a cheaper second wicket when Daryl Mitchell ran behind and tried to pass a ball fetch.
The answer began with two frustrating cameos, first from Will Jacks, who seemed up to speed from the start but failed to carry on after finding the line twice, and then, more worryingly, from Malan.
Although he is far from the only player who could make way for Brook from England’s preliminary 15-man World Cup squad, the veteran, who turned 36 on Sunday, is under particular pressure and followed a four-ball duck at Old Trafford with a There was a miserable innings that derailed England’s already strong comeback as they failed to take advantage of the powerplay.
Brook helped his first ball to a good four to emphasize the contrast, but once again there was no significant score to further his cause, with the 24-year-old successfully bowling leg before the decision, only to be left with one Ninth to fall Ish Sodhi’s next ball as the hosts reached half-time 136 runs short.
Left so far behind the odds, England’s middle order had little choice but to bat. Buttler needed just 21 balls to reach his 40, but fell caught and bowled to Mitch Santner, while Moeen gave his home crowd brief entertainment with some heavy hitting in his 26, but failed to make a significant dent in the total.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/cricket/england-vs-new-zealand-third-t20-b1104533.html England v New Zealand: Tourists win third T20 as Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips shine