ICC Champions Trophy: England reach semi-finals after win over New Zealand in Cardiff
Last Updated: 17/06/13 12:45am
England booked their place in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy with a 10-run victory in a rain-shortened match in Cardiff.
Skipper Alastair Cook top scored with 64 from 47 balls before the hosts collapsed from 141-3 to 169 all out in a match reduced to 24-overs-a-side.
But England's attack, minus injured spinner Graeme Swann due to a stiff calf, prospered in helpful conditions at the SWALEC Stadium, restricting their opponents to 159-8 despite Kane Williamson's brave 67.
James Anderson (3-32) led the way with two early wickets, dismissing Luke Ronchi (two) and Martin Guptill (nine) in an excellent opening spell, and he was quickly backed up by Tim Bresnan, who trapped Ross Taylor lbw for three.
When Ravi Bopara (2-26) removed dangerman Brendon McCullum for eight courtesy of a fine catch in the deep by Joe Root, the Kiwis were 48-4 and firmly up against it.
Williamson did his best to keep them alive, hitting eight boundaries and a solitary six in his 54-ball knock. Debutant Corey Anderson weighed in with 30, but their 73-run alliance for the sixth wicket was to be in a losing cause. New Zealand, however, are not done just yet - their three-point tally means they are relying on an Australia win over Sri Lanka on Monday to make the last four.
England - who still do not know if they will face India or South Africa next - will be just grateful for getting a game in after rain right after the toss delayed the start of proceedings until 3.45pm.
Cook and Root (38) provided the bulk of their runs, sharing a third-wicket stand of 75 following the early departures of Warwickshire duo Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott. Yet with the foundations seemingly set for a second-half surge, the innings instead fell away badly.
Despite not being part of the national team's twenty20 set-up Cook showed he could translate his skills to the shorter format with two straight sixes, as well as a scoop shot off the bowling of James Franklin that netted him one of his four boundaries.
He did, though, receive more than a little luck in his innings. Nathan McCullum on three occasions put down catches from the left-hander before finally holding a chance off his own bowling. He took two other opportunities in the field after that, too.
By that stage Root had already departed to Mitchell McClenaghan (3-36) and despite Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler making 15 and 14 respectively, England collapsed in the closing stages.
They lost their last seven wickets for just 28, Kyle Mills taking the final two in successive deliveries to finish with 4-30. His dismissal of Trott for eight saw him become the leading wicket taker in the history of the competition.