England failed to capitalize on Jonny Bairstow’s impressive innings of 73 runs as New Zealand fought back to secure a six-wicket victory in the square T20 series.
Bairstow’s blistering knock, which included six fours and four sixes, powered England to a challenging total of 166 runs for the loss of four wickets. However, New Zealand’s determined response saw them chase down the target with seven balls to spare.
Opting to bat first, England got off to a shaky start, losing opener Jason Roy early on. But Bairstow, along with Dawid Malan, steadied the ship with a crucial partnership of 83 runs. Malan contributed 36 runs before being dismissed by spinner Ish Sodhi.
Bairstow continued his onslaught, showcasing his power-hitting abilities. His aggressive approach helped England gather momentum in the middle overs. However, his dismissal in the 16th over triggered a collapse in England’s batting lineup.
The lower-middle order failed to provide substantial contributions, with Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler all falling cheaply. England’s innings eventually ended at 166 runs, a score that seemed competitive at the time.
In response, New Zealand got off to a solid start, with openers Martin Guptill and Tim Seifert providing a strong foundation. Guptill, in particular, displayed his attacking prowess, smashing 50 runs off just 20 balls before being caught by Bairstow off the bowling of Chris Jordan.
Seifert continued the assault, scoring 35 runs before being dismissed by leg-spinner Adil Rashid. However, it was Devon Conway who played a match-winning innings for New Zealand. Conway’s unbeaten 92 runs off 52 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes, guided his team to victory.
Despite losing a few wickets towards the end, New Zealand comfortably reached the target, sealing a six-wicket win and leveling the series at 2-2.
England’s bowling attack struggled to contain the New Zealand batsmen, with only Rashid managing to take two wickets. The rest of the bowlers failed to make a significant impact, allowing the opposition to chase down the target with relative ease.
With the series now level, both teams will be eager to secure a victory in the final match and claim the series. The fifth and final T20 match between England and New Zealand promises to be an exciting encounter, with both teams looking to finish on a high note.