Jos Buttler hit 73 from 51 balls against New Zealand in England's final warm-up before T20 World Cup opener versus West Indies on Saturday; Mark Wood with four wickets and Adil Rashid three as Eoin Morgan's men win by 13 runs; Dawid Malan and Morgan fall cheaply at No 3 and 4 respectively
Thursday 21 October 2021 06:07, UK
Jos Buttler struck 73 from 51 deliveries before Adil Rashid and Mark Wood starred with the ball as England beat New Zealand by 13 runs in their final warm-up game before their T20 World Cup opener against West Indies.
Buttler hit 11 fours and two sixes as he underpinned England's total of 163-6, although there were also crunching cameos from Jonny Bairstow (30 off 21) and Sam Billings (27no off 17) in Abu Dhabi.
Leg-spinner Rashid (3-18) and fast bowler Wood (4-21) then both struck twice in an over, while Tymal Mills (0-23) bowled an economical four-over spell as the Black Caps crumbled from 66-1 to 103-9 in reply.
Cameos from Ish Sodhi (25no off 16) and Todd Astle (16 off 13) dragged New Zealand back into the game, leaving them needing 15 from Chris Woakes' final over, but Astle was then bowled as the Kiwis were all out for 150.
England move onto Saturday's clash against West Indies with a win and defeat from their two warm-ups - Wednesday's victory over New Zealand following Monday's six-wicket reverse against India - and with concerns as well as positives.
Any significant worries over the form of Dawid Malan (11 off 15) and Eoin Morgan (10 off 11) were not eased as the left-handers fell lbw on the reverse sweep to leg-spinner Sodhi (3-26) - although Morgan was unfortunate having seemingly got bat on ball before it thudded into his pad.
Morgan averaged just 11 in the recently-concluded IPL, while Rob Key suggested on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast that Malan's tendency to take time getting himself in could hinder England on slow pitches in the UAE, with scoring briskly during the powerplay likely to be crucial.
Jason Roy (0) and Liam Livingstone (1) were both bowled around their legs - Roy by Tim Southee from the first ball of the match and Livingstone, fit to play after taking a knock to his left little finger against India, by Glenn Phillips.
Livingstone opened the bowling for England and was taken for 14 as Martin Guptill (40 off 21) bookended the first over with sixes, blows which helped the Black Caps to 81-2 inside nine overs.
However, Billings' brilliant run out of Devon Conway (20 of 23) from the deep triggered a collapse of seven wickets for 22 runs - three of them falling with the score on 87.
Rashid backed up his earlier scalp of Guptill by striking twice in the 11th over, having Mark Chapman (1) caught at slip by Chris Jordan via a deflection off Buttler before bowling Mitchell Santner (0) through the gate.
Wood, who had bowled Guptill's opening partner Tim Seifert in the third over, saw off the middle and lower order and was on a hat-trick after picking off Kyle Jamiesion and Southee from successive balls in the 15th.
Sodhi and Astle's 47-run stand then held England up - Sodhi smoking two sixes off the expensive Woakes (1-31) in a 22-run 16th over - and when Astle concluded Jordan's 19th over with a huge six a comeback win looked possible, only for Woakes to wrap up victory for Morgan's men.
Jos Buttler - appeared to be batting on a different wicket to most of England's players during a knock of power and invention in which he reached fifty from 39 balls
Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings - middle-order men Bairstow and Billings helped their side plunder 54 from the final five overs, with Billings bludgeoning one Jamieson over for 20. Billings then capped a fine day with a bullet throw from deep backward point into Buttler's gloves leading to the run out of Conway and starting the Kiwi collapse
Adil Rashid- so skilful, so dependable, so important. Dismissed Guptill a ball after being belted for six and then put England well on top with his 11th-over double strike.
Mark Wood - with Jofra Archer missing the World Cup, Wood is England's premier paceman and certainly had plenty of New Zealand's batters under the pump, bowling Seifert through the gate with an excellent delivery
Ish Sodhi - the New Zealand spinner trapped Malan and Morgan lbw and was also the man to finally banish Buttler, caught at long-on. He then had real fun with the bat late in the game
Lockie Ferguson - tonked for 12 from his first over by Buttler, the seamer shipped just seven runs combined from his final two, mixing his pace well and dismissing Bairstow with a slower-ball bouncer
England leg-spinner, ADIL RASHID: "It's always nice to get into the winning habit, even in a warm-up game, and for the boys to have a hit, have a bowl and spend some time in the middle. We are definitely confident that if we stick to our strengths we can do well in this tournament."
For England and New Zealand, it's the T20 World Cup proper.
England begin their campaign against defending champions West Indies in a repeat of the 2016 final, with that game, in Dubai, coming your way live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 2.30pm on Saturday.
New Zealand have to wait until Tuesday for their first match - a clash against 2009 champions Pakistan in Sharjah, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 2.30pm.
On Thursday, meanwhile, round one continues in Muscat with Bangladesh vs Papua New Guinea (10.30am, Sky Sports Cricket) and Scotland vs Oman (2.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket) concluding Group B.
The equation for Scotland is simple - win and they will be in the Super 12 stage. They could still advance with a defeat - and will be assured of progression if Papua New Guinea defeat Bangladesh earlier in the day - but will want to confirm their place in style.
Watch the ICC Men's T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports between now and November 14.