England crushed New Zealand in the first semi-final at Feroz Shah Kotla and made it to their second World T20 final on Wednesday. At the heart of a dominating performance was a whirlwind knock from opener Jason Roy who smashed the New Zealand attack into smithereens in New Delhi as England chased down 153 in 17.1 overs with seven wickets remaining.
Roy clattered nine fours and a six within the Powerplay overs to launch England’s chase. He completed his fifty off just 26 deliveries with a single off Ish Sodhi in the seventh over to punch the life out of the bowlers. He started off with four boundaries in the first over, bowled by Corey Anderson – the first through a square, the next to his leg, the third via cut and the fourth between point and short third man. The tone was set, and he was in a rampaging mood, sparing no one. Be it their trump card of this tournament Mitchell Santner or death over expert Mitchell McClenaghan. Both leaked runs in plenty. Alex Hales was relatively quiet and was out after holing out to long-on for 20. Roy continued to plunder runs with a four off Santner and a six off Grant Elliott.
England had cruised to 110/1 in 12 overs when Ish Sodhi reignited New Zealand hopes with the wickets of Roy and captain Eoin Morgan. Roy missed his straighter one to be cleaned up for a 44-ball 78 that had 11 fours and two sixes in it. Morgan was out for a golden duck for the second time in three matches. That was but a minor bump as Jos Buttler (32 off 17) and Joe Root (27 off 22) added 49 runs between them to take England to their second World T20 final.
That England were left to chase 154 was thanks to their excellent death bowling as they chipped away with regular wickets, limiting New Zealand to 153/8 after handy knocks from Colin Munro and Kane Williamson had laid a solid platform for a late surge.
New Zealand, who had scored 89/1 in their first ten overs, lost the plot in the next 10, managing just 64 in them with Ben Stokes taking 3 for 26.
David Willey has found ways to take wickets but is prone to be expensive. He was taken for 11 runs in his first over as Martin Guptill carved him for two fours in the first over after Morgan inserted New Zealand in. Emboldened by his first over exploits, Guptill swung again in Willey’s next over but played for the wrong line and was out caught behind for 15. Willey had struck early, but Munro walked in and cut loose with a flurry of boundaries. He clattered three consecutive fours off Liam Plunkett in the final over of the Powerplays as New Zealand reached 51/1 after six overs.
Morgan introduced spin in Adil Rashid, and he bowled a decent first over for four runs. Ben Stokes came in from the other end, and Williamson lifted him over long off for a beautiful six. The two New Zealand batsmen were a study in contrast. Williamson, smooth as butter. Rashid witnessed it first-hand in his next with Munro reverse-hitting him for a six and his partner cutting him for a serene four. Two streaky boundaries took Munro to 36 off 22 balls as the score zoomed to 89/1 at the halfway stage.
Moeen Ali struck in his first over, back-pedalling to hold on to a skier from Williamson. Plunkett returned for his second spell and took instant revenge with Munro edging him to the third man while reaching out for a delivery bowled outside off. He scored 46 off 32 with seven fours and a six.
Ross Taylor found a diving Morgan inside the circle to be caught for six. The next half of the New Zealand innings was going England’s way, but they had Corey Anderson to provide the late push. He sent the crowd roaring with a four and a six but Stokes proved why he revels under pressure as he came back to claim the scalps of Luke Ronchi and Anderson off successive deliveries punching holes in New Zealand’s hopes of a late surge.