Cricket: England rout New Zealand to book semifinal berth

Sports Tuesday 06/June/2017 22:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Cricket: England rout New Zealand to book semifinal berth

Cardiff: Hosts England became the first team to qualify for the Champions Trophy semifinals after hammering New Zealand by 87 runs to stay top of Group A at Sophia Gardens on Tuesday.
Eoin Morgan's side mastered tricky conditions to reinforce their credentials as tournament favourites with an excellent team performance in which everyone contributed.
The captain top-scored with an impressive 64 -- his 32nd score above fifty in 85 ODIs -- as England posted an all-out score of 310 after being put in to bat.
In reply, New Zealand struggled to overcome the first over loss of Luke Ronchi for a golden duck and, although Kane Williamson struck an assured 87, his team mates were picked off by England's impressive attack.
Liam Plunkett was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets as New Zealand subsided to 223 all out in the 45th over.
New Zealand can still reach the semifinals if they beat Bangladesh in their final game and Australia lose to England.
Buttler's late burst
Earlier, Jos Buttler provided a late flourish with a quick-fire unbeaten 61 after Joe Root scored a fluent half-century as England were all out for 310. Buttler's knock which came off just 48 balls with the help of two fours and two sixes provided the just-needed impetus to England's innings to get past the 300-run mark.
Earlier sent into bat, Root continued his good form and followed up his 133 not out against Bangladesh with a 65-ball 64 and together with Hales (56 off 62 balls) shared 81 runs for the first wicket to set the base for England after the early dismissal of Jason Roy (13).
Root decorated his innings with four boundaries and two sixes while Hales struck three fours and two hits over the fence.
Buttler and Root stitched 54 runs for the fourth wicket before the Kiwis picked up wickets at regular intervals to put brakes on England innings.
But Buttler ensured England get past the psychological 300-run mark with a crucial 49-run stand off just 30 balls for the eighth wicket with Liam Plunkett (15). Towrads the end, Buttler ran out partners as Tim Southee (2/44) went through England's lower-order.
Right-arm pacer Adam Milne (3/79) inflicted the early damage for England by removing Roy and Hales before Correy Anderson (3/55) struck thrice in the middle overs getting the important wickets of skipper Eoin Morgan (13), Root and Moeen Ali (12).
Besides, Trent Boult (1/56) and Mitchell Santner (1/54) picked up a wicket each for New Zealand.
Brief scores: England 310 all out in 49.3 overs (Joe Root 64, Jos Butler 61 n.o., Alex Hales 56; Corey Anderson 3/55, Adam Milne 3/79) bt New Zealand 223 all out in 44.3 overs (Kane Williamson 87, Ross Taylor 39; Liam Plunkett 4/55).