New Zealand beats England by 14 runs in third T20
NELSON — Colin de Grandhomme hit a half-century from 27 balls and New Zealand turned in an outstanding defensive bowling performance to beat England by 14 runs in the third Twenty20 international Tuesday and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
De Grandhomme was out for 55 from 35 deliveries as New Zealand reached 180-7 after winning the toss.
Dawid Malan made 55 and James Vince 49 to put England on target for victory. But after being 139-3 at the end of the 15th over, the tourists crumbled and ended at 166-7.
Blair Tickner, in his second T20 international, took one wicket for two runs from his first nine balls, using bounce to good effect.
After facing some late pressure from the England batsmen, he returned to claim the crucial wicket of Vince in the 15th over to turn the tide of the match in New Zealand's favor. Tickner finished with 2-25 from his four overs while paceman Lockie Ferguson also took 2-25.
Malan batted superbly to score his fifth T20 half-century from 29 balls and had gone on to 55 when he mistimed a wide full toss from Sodhi and hit the ball directly to Guptill on the fence in the 11th over.
New Zealand then quickly claimed the wickets of England captain Eion Morgan for 18 and Steve Billings for 1 to take the upper hand.
Morgan was caught by Colin Munro from the bowling of Mitchell Santner at 139-3 and Billings was run out by a side-on throw from Munro only three runs later.
The England lower order wasn't able to keep up the momentum of the run chase and New Zealand completed back-to-back wins after winning the second match of the series by 21 runs.
Guptill got New Zealand off to a strong start with 33 from 17 balls but it was De Grandhomme, batting up the order, who gave the innings substance with his third T20 half-century.
"I'm enjoying batting at No. 4," De Grandhomme said. "It's a good opportunity batting up there.
"I hit it pretty well in Sri Lanka and I'm enjoying carrying on now. I think the earlier you get in...it's nice because the field is still in and it gives you more access to the boundary."
England included two new caps in its lineup for the match. Opener Tom Banton and leg spinner Matt Parkinson were the fifth and sixth debutants used during the current series.
Parkinson bowled well to take 1-14 from two overs and Banton was aggressive at the top of the order, hitting 18 from 10 balls.
"I think that's one that got away from us," Morgan said. "I thought we were in control pretty much the whole chase until we were three or four down and I think the lack of experience in the chase probably cost us."
Associated Press (AP)