England were in the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup after Jonny Bairstow’s second consecutive run of a 119-race win against New Zealand.
Bairstow came to the fore at a crucial moment for the hosts, who clashed with India on Sunday, June 30, knowing they might need successive victories to advance.
The pre-tournament favorites did so largely thanks to their excellent opening game, in which they reached an excellent 111 in Edgbaston, blasting 106 at the Riverside Durham when England scored 305/8.
New Zealand did not find a similar response, losing wickets from the start, and was eventually dismissed for 186 – despite remaining in pole position for England in the last four games and Pakistan on Friday, July 5, an unrealistically convincing win against Bangladesh needed to overtake her.
For the second running game, the English received an excellent start from Jason Roy and Bairstow.
The pair, which has the highest average of all opening duets in ODI history, has added another century to its collection by contrasting shot by shot.
Bairstow was particularly hard on the returning Tim Southee, who cut through Midwicket, drove for cover and pulled for four consecutive fours by the leg side to start the innings.
Roy caught the attention with a series of excitements against Mitchell Santner and as fluent as he was, it was a surprise when he left and stroked Jimmy Neesham until he briefly took cover.
It was to set an alarming trend as England’s middle order struggled on an increasingly sluggish surface.
Bairstow contradicted the conditions to reach three pieces, but his team-mates found life difficult as the innings went on. Eoin Morgan’s 42 was the second best score, with Neesham, Trent Bolt and Matt Henry each claiming two wickets.
New Zealand lost Henry Nicholls, lbw, at the opening of his chase to Chris Woakes before Jofra Archer caught Martin Guptill from Jos Buttler’s great driving pleasure.
While Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were on strike, hope jumped forever, but the duo ran away in successive overs. First at the end of the non-striker, after Wood had put his hand on a booming ride and the latter made an unreasonable second attempt.
From 69/4, the Black Caps never really had any hope and managed only 186 despite Tom Latham’s 57, when England booked their place in the last four.