NEW ZEALAND TOUR OF ENGLAND 2023
Mitchell Santner was awarded Player of the Match for his excellent spell © Getty
New Zealand put on a clinical show with both bat and ball in the final T20I on Tuesday (September 5) to stage a commendable comeback and draw the four-match T20I series. Despite losing the opening two games, the visitors managed to win the next two to share the spoils and finish on a high ahead of the ODI leg of the tour.
With Jos Buttler rested for the game, Jonny Bairstow took charge very early in the innings as he hammered Matt Henry for a four and a six over deep backward square leg to get going. Kyle Jamieson was ripped apart by Bairstow in his first over as the opener smashed him for two sixes and a four to give England a terrific start. The carnage continued as Bairstow managed to move to 48 off just 24 by the end of the powerplay as England made 63. From thereon, New Zealand slowly took charge with their spinners pulling things back.
Ish Sodhi struck in the very first over after the powerplay as Will Jacks edged one to the keeper. Even though Bairstow kept going after going past fifty, Dawid Malan struggled to keep up. The huge wicket of Bairstow came in the 12th over of the innings as the opener smashed a six off Mitchell Santner and tried to hammer the ball again, only to mistime it and fall for 73. Malan finally broke the shackles by picking Jamieson apart for three fours in an over as England set themselves for a final assault.
However, from 126/2 after 13 overs, England could only muster 175/8 as New Zealand choked their opposition to concede only 49 in the final seven overs. Harry Brook mistimed one off Sodhi and Santner picked up two huge wickets in his final over as New Zealand kept chipping away. The regular strikes ensured there was no real momentum with Liam Livingstone dismissed for a 20-ball 26 off the last ball of the innings. Luke Wood then brought an early end to Finn Allen’s stay at the crease as the opener looked dangerous before departing for 16. But Tim Seifert and Daryl Mitchell repeated Bairstow’s heroics in the powerply and even went a step further as they toyed around with the home side’s bowling attack to register 73 in the powerplay.
A run out brought a much-needed wicket for England after the powerplay before Rehan Ahmed dismissed Seifert for 48. But any hopes of a comeback were thwarted by Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman as the both the batters found the boundaries regularly to bring the required run rate under control. Phillips, who had smashed two sixes against spin, tried to pull Adil Rashid over deep midwicket but only managed to miscue it to fall for a 25-ball 42. Post Phillips’ departure, Chapman took charge as he too went on a boundary spree before Rachin Ravindra finished the game with 16 balls to spare.
Brief scores: England175/8 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 73; Mitchell Santner 3/30, Ish Sodhi 2/21) lost to New Zealand 179/4 in 17.2 overs (Tim Seifert 48, Glenn Phillips 42; Rehan Ahmed 2/27) by six wickets