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Guptill, Munro knock England out of Tri-Series despite New Zealand defeat

Eoin Morgan's efforts did not prove enough for England to reach final
Eoin Morgan's efforts did not prove enough for England to reach final

England 194-7 (Morgan 80no) beat
New Zealand 192-4 (Guptill 62) by two runs
6th T20I, Tri-Series, Hamilton

Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan slammed unbeaten 80 and 53 respectively as England registered their maiden victory in the final game of the Twenty20 International Tri-Series after edging out New Zealand by two runs in Hamilton.

However, the efforts of New Zealand proved enough for them to reach the final of the tournament where they will face Australia while England miss out on the final because of an inferior net-run-rate.

New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl first. Jason Roy (21) with three boundaries and a six in the first two overs but New Zealand made a strong comeback through Tim Southee (2-22) and Trent Boult (3-50) as they accounted for both Hales and Roy in a span of five deliveries.

England managed 41 runs off the powerplay losing both the openers but the ante was upped with Malan hitting four sixes in the next four overs bringing the 50-run stand with Eoin Morgan (80 not out) off just 36 deliveries.

In an eventful 11th over from Mitchell Santner (0-32), Morgan plundered three boundaries and a six and in the next over with a six off Ish Sodhi (1-31), Malan completed a 31-ball half-century.

Malan has handed a reprieve when Tim Seifert dropped him but it did not prove costly as Colin de Grandhomme (1-32) had him caught at deep midwicket and England seemed to have lost their way a bit with Jos Buttler (2) perishing.

Between overs 11 and 15, England managed just 21 runs and that did hurt them in their aspiration to go past the 200-run mark.

However, Morgan played a superb finishing role hitting four sixes in the final overs with cameos from David Willey (10), Liam Dawson (10) and Chris Jordan (6 not out) helping England reach 194 for seven in the 20 overs.

New Zealand needed just 175 runs in the chase to ensure they progress to the final because of net-run-rate and Colin Munro (57) hit four sixes and a boundary in the first two overs and went on to complete a 18-ball fifty. This is Munro's second 18-ball fifty in T20Is for the Black Caps and already has the record for a New Zealand batsman with 14-ball half-century.

New Zealand ended the powerplay with a score of 77 for naught but Adil Rashid (1-22) provided England some respite when he had the dangerous Munro caught at deep square leg.

The spinners Rashid and Liam Dawson (1-27) applied brake to the scoring rate and as a result the pressure was too much to withstand for Kane Williamson (8), who went about with a strike-rate of under 62.

The Black Caps needed 72 runs off the final eight overs to reach the final but Mark Chapman (37 not out) and Martin Guptill (62) with a 64-run stand for the third wicket provided the right momentum as New Zealand went on to achieve the qualification to finals in 18.1 overs.

However, Chapman, Ross Taylor (7) and Colin de Grandhomme (7 not out) could not get the 21 runs needed off the final two overs to take New Zealand over the winning line.

Australia and New Zealand will now face each other in the final on 21st February in Auckland.

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