England secure top spot

New Zealand eliminated as Pakistan also progress

By Joe Drabble   Last updated: 11th May 2010  

England secure top spot

England celebrate in St Lucia

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England secured top spot in Group E and sent New Zealand packing from the ICC World Twenty20 with a three-wicket victory at Beausejour Stadium.

Needing a win to progress to the semi-final stage, the Kiwis fell short to ensure defending champions Pakistan clawed their way into the last four alongside table-toppers England.

Pakistan, winners over South Africa earlier in the day, looked dead and buried after two defeats from their opening Super Eights fixtures, however they remain alive and kicking thanks to England's fourth win on the bounce.

Chasing 150 for victory, Eoin Morgan (40 off 34) and Luke Wright (24) got the run chase back on track after three wickets had fallen for the cost of just six runs.

The Black Caps continued to take wickets, but Tim Bresnan (23 not out) saw England home with five balls remaining.

Purpose

England's reward for clinching top spot is a semi-final date with the runners-up from Group F, which could be any one of Australia, India, West Indies or Sri Lanka.

Just as they had done against the Windies earlier in the tournament, Morgan and Wright combined with a mixture of brawn and skill to put England on track.

The pair came together at a crunch time after New Zealand had clawed their way back into the match.

Openers Michael Lumb (32 off 21 balls) and Craig Kieswetter powered England off to yet another purposeful start with a 24-run stand off just 16 balls.

Kieswetter, who hit Nathan McCullum for a four and a towering six in the first over of the chase, perished for 15 off 12 balls when he slapped Kyle Mills straight to the off-spinner at cover point.

Ravi Bopara (nine) failed to take the chance presented to him through Kevin Pietersen's absence when he fell in similar fashion off the medium-pace of Scott Styris.

The England wobble continued when Lumb was trapped lbw sweeping Daniel Vettori (1-24) three balls later, and Paul Collingwood's poor form continued when he chipped Styris tamely to midwicket.

But Morgan and Wright, who shared a 95-run partnership against the Windies in Guyana, brilliantly put the chase back on track.

The pair added 52 in 38 balls before Wright, who had bludgeoned three fours in his 17-ball knock, hooked Shane Bond (2-29) straight to Mills on the square-leg fence.

Morgan continued to torment the Kiwi bowlers but perished to Bond - and a diving catch from Vettori - with England eight runs short of victory.

Restrained

Michael Yardy came and went for a duck, but man-of-the match Bresnan saw England home with his third boundary off the first ball of the final over.

Yorkshireman Bresnan (1-20) had earlier set the tone with the ball to help keep the Black Caps in check.

His well-disguised slower ball was too cute for Jesse Ryder (nine) as England claimed a notable early scalp.

Brendon McCullum (33 off 32) was restrained up top, and only the arrival of Ross Taylor (44 off 33) prompted a New Zealand charge.

Styris (31 off 19) also offered some lusty blows, however when he picked out Wright at long-on with 20 balls of the innings remaining, the Kiwis lost their way.

Ryan Sidebottom (1-35) returned to dismiss Taylor shortly after, while Graeme Swann (2-31), who had earlier snared Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redmond, was the pick of England's bowlers.

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