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Williamson, Guptill set up New Zealand's first win in Tri-Series

Kane Williamson led from the front for New Zealand
Kane Williamson led from the front for New Zealand

New Zealand 196-5 (Williamson 72) beat
England 184-9 (Malan 59) by 12 runs
4th Twenty20 International, Tri-Series, Wellington

Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill slammed half-centuries as New Zealand went on to amass 196 for five and later went on to defend the total by 12 runs in the fourth Twenty20 International against England in Wellington to register their maiden win in the ongoing Tri-Series.

The win has taken New Zealand to the second place in the tri-series while England languish at the bottom after losing all the three games they have played that include two against Australia.

Earlier, England won the toss and decided to bowl first. Guptill (65) looked positive from the outset hitting four boundaries in the first three overs but the 39-run opening stand ended when Colin Munro (11) pulled a Mark Wood (2-51) delivery to deep square leg and New Zealand ended the powerplay with a score of 50 for one.

As Williamson (72) was settling in, Guptill hit three sixes against Adil Rashid (2-36) to complete his fifty and also the 50-run stand with Williamson to take the home side to 99 for one in 11 overs but that came after Wood missed a straightforward run-out chance of the New Zealand skipper.

Rashid though came back strong in the 14th over when he had both Guptill and Colin de Grandhomme (0) caught in the deep with the latter held brilliantly by Chris Jordan (1-34) at long off.

Williamson decided to up the ante as he smashed Wood for two sixes and a four in the 16th over that saw reach his half-century and proving he still has in him to deliver even in this format of the game. Even though he fell with 12 deliveries left in the innings, debutants Mark Chapman (20) and Tim Seifert (14 not out) provided the late flourish to take the score to 196 for five in the 20 overs.

In the chase, Alex Hales (47) provided a quick start despite the early loss of Jason Roy (8) and was especially severe on Trent Boult (2-46) hitting him for 20 runs in the fifth over as England reached 60 for one in the powerplay phase.

Dawid Malan (59) was going at run a ball for his first 17 runs but he was forced to come out of his shell with Hales chipping a Ish Sodhi (2-49) to deep midwicket while James Vince (10) was lazily run out by Williamson.

Malan signalled his intention with a six and a four in the 12th over off Sodhi but Jos Buttler's (2) ambitious shot had him caught in the deep. With Sam Billings (12) also gone, England looked in deep trouble needing 66 to win off the last five overs.

Willey (21) tried to provide late resilience with his 10-ball cameo but Boult was brilliant in the end overs as New Zealand sealed a 12-run victory to get their first points in the tri-series.

Williamson was named the man of the match for his stunning performance with the bat.

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