Pallekele: Sep 29, 2012
Steven Finn and Luke Wright played stellar roles as defending champions England revived their title hopes with a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in their Super Eight match of the ICC World Twenty20 on Saturday.
Finn achieved his as well as England's best figures in the ICC World Twenty20 -- three for 16 -- before Wright hit a 43-ball 76 as England chased down the target of 149 with seven balls to spare.
After Finn and Co's disciplined bowling restricted New Zealand to a modest 148 for six, England got off to a cautious start but soon Wright, who smashed five fours and equal number of sixes, sent the bowlers on a leatherhunt.
He was well supported by Eoin Morgan (30) at the other end and together they put on a 89-run stand for the third wicket.
England lost opener Craig Kieswetter (4) early but thereafter Alex Hales (22), Wright and Morgan made sure that there were no hiccup on the road to victory.
The defeat, their second after the loss to Sri Lanka, left New Zealand on the brink of an early elimination.
Earlier, Finn never allowed the Black Caps to settle down.
James Franklin, with an useful 50 off 33 balls, and captain Ross Taylor (28), were the two New Zealand batsmen who played responsible innings after the Kiwis decided to bat on winning the toss.
Franklin along with Taylor put on a 40-run stand for the fifth wicket, before he partnered Nathan McCullum (10-ball 16 not out) to add another 39 runs for the sixth wicket to help the Black Caps reach the fighting total.
New Zealand did not have an ideal start as Finn dismissed opener Martin Guptill (5) in the second over of the match, followed by the wicket of in-form Brendon McCullum (10) in his next over. (PTI)
Brief Scores: New Zealand 148 for 6 in 20 overs (James Franklin 50, Ross Taylor 22; Steven Finn 3 for 16) lost to England 149 for 4 in 18.5 overs (Luke Wright 76, Eoin Morgan 30, Alex Hales 22; Doug Bracewell 1 for 8, Daniel Vettori 1 for 20) by 6 wickets.
Man of the Match: Luke Wright