New Zealand's Devon Conway, left, looks back as England's Jos Buttler attempts a stumping during the T20 World Cup cricket in Brisbane, Australia. England won by 20 runs. Image Credit: AP

Match summary - England win by 20 runs

England survived some anxious moments before cruising to a 20-run win over New Zealand in the crucial Group 1 clash of the Twenty20 World Cup at Gabba on Tuesday.

On a difficult batting track, half-centuries from England skipper Jos Buttler and fellow-opener Alex Hales laid the foundation for England’s big total. On the contrary, New Zealand innings never took off until a chancy partnership between skipper Kane Williamson and Glenn Phillips, who was again lucky to be dropped early in the innings, brought the Kiwis back in the chase

But the wicket of Williamson, which ended the 91-run partnership for the third wicket in just under 10 overs, gave England the opening that they were desperately looking for. The England pacers then tightened their grip and kept getting wickets as the new batters failed to get the timing on a slow wicket.

Phillips eventually fell to another good catch by substitute Chris Jordan, who also took a smart catch on the boundary line to dismiss Daryl Mitchell, after an attacking 62 off 36 balls. Sam Curran starred with the ball, finishing with excellent figures of two for 26 in his four overs, conceding 14 in the final two overs. Mark Wood and Chris Woakes also kept it tight with the pace and change of pace to strike wickets at regular intervals to propel England home.

The victory takes the Three Lions to second in the table, with all three – New Zealand, England and Australia level on points but the Black Caps still in top spot with a better run rate. It can’t better as all teams have one match to play in the final round to book the semi-final slots from the group.

It's almost over for New Zealand as Phillips departs

It looks like the game is over for New Zealand, the dangerous Phillips goes for 62 off 36 balls with the score 140 for six, Jordan completing his second catch on the boundary, off Curran. New Zealand need another 40 off 12 balls with Sodhi and Santner need to score Moeen Ali must be breathing easy now.

Two wickets bring England back into the game

Two wickets in the last two overs, that of Jimmy Nesham and Daryl Mitchell, with just an addition of 8 runs is making it difficult for New Zealand and now Phillps has a mountain to climb in the company of Santner. After 17 overs, New Zealand are 131 for five, needing another 49 in 18 balls. The pacer Wood and Woakes are doing the job for England.

Stokes breaks the partnership

England must be breathing a sigh of relief after talismanic Ben Stokes breaks the partnership to dismiss Kane Williamson, Rashid completing a good diving catch. It’s a welcome wicket, but the dangerous Phillips is still at the crease and with Neesham they will go on an all-out assault. Despite getting the wicket, Stokes has conceded 10 runs in his fist over. New Zealand are 123 for three after 15 overs.

The tearaway pace will be difficult in the final five overs, that’s where New Zealand pulled England back. How the England pacers will deliver will determine the win and loss.

Phillips reaches half-century

Phillips thrashes Adil Rashd, in whose bowling Moeen Ali dropped the New Zealander, to reach his half century in 25 balls, which means a strike-rate of 200. His innings has brought the Black Caps in the chase and are now 113 for two in 14 overs. England desperately need a wicket to keep themselves in the game.

Match swinging in favour of New Zealand

New Zealand batters are riding their luck, but it is slowly hurting England. The fielding standards have dropped since the catch was put down and England needed to pick themselves up sooner to keep the Kiwi batters under pressure. Buttler employing the pace of Wood is playing into Phillips hands as the New Zealander likes the ball to come on to the bat fast and quick. The quicker the better. Slowly the match is slipping out of England’s grasp. A wicket is important now. The two have put on a 58-run partnership in seven overs. Williamson and Phillips are well set at 35 and 30 respectively. After 12 overs, Kiwis are 86 for two.

How costly will Moeen’s dropped catch be?

New Zealand innings is gaining momentum and Williamson is showing the urgency along with Phillips. But still the asking rate has gone up to 11 runs an over and it could only keep mounting. However, the good news from New Zealand’s they have the wickets. Phillips is again lucky. The New Zealander, who was dropped twice by Sri Lanka on his way to a century in the previous game, is riding his luck again after Moeen Ali dropped a sitter that even a club cricketer would grab it easily. How costly is the drop? We will have to wait and see. For the time being New Zealand are 66 for two at half-way stage.

Pacers are not the solution on this track

It’s a bad idea to bowl Mark Wood or Chris Woakes when the ball is new. Going by the New Zealand bowlers, the pacers are becoming difficult to hit when the ball loses its shine and becomes slightly soft, when it doesn’t fly to the boundary and the spread-out field will also give adequate protection for them. Spinners, Stokes and Curran, who has moved to top of the bowlers’ table with eight wickets in his third match, need to bowl the next eight to nine overs. After six overs, New Zealand are 40 for 2. This partnership is key for the Black Caps.

Kiwis not taking the flight in stiff chase

It took 20 balls of powerplay overs for New Zealand to find their first boundary, a six by Finn Allen off Woakes, who bowled a poor second over, conceding 12 off the fourth over. Still, England are in control and skipper Williamson’s approach is to play a long innings, not taking any chances while the batters from the other end will go on an all-out attack. Black Caps must be banking the power-hitters, Allen, Phillips, who scored a chancy century against Sri Lanka and Neesham to do the bulk of the scoring, but that will only help England and the mounting asking rate will put more pressure on the rest against a menacing England bowling on a sticky wicket that assists the bowlers. The pressure already got the second wicket when Allen hit the slow bouncer straight to the hands of Stokes at deep midwicket. After five overs, New Zealand are 28 for two.

New Zealand in trouble as drama unfolds at Gabba

The first over of New Zealand innings had all the drama pitting the two Chennai Super Kings players against each other. Devon Conway, the key architect of Black Caps’s stunning win over defending champions Australia, was tested severely by off-spinner Moeen Ali, who outfoxed the left-hander and just made his ground before Buttler could effect the stumping. But the left-hander’s stay was shortlived after Buttler pulled off an acrobatic catch off the scoop by Conway. The new ball is spinning even more, which suggests that after six overs, once the shine wears off, Livingstone and Rashid will play a bigger role. After two overs, New Zealand are in trouble at 8/1.

Mid-match summary: Buttler, Hales give England a challenging total to defend

England skipper Jos Buttler and fellow opener Alex Hales give England a winning total on a weary Gabba pitch that is consistently slowing down as the innings progressed against New Zealand in a must-win match of the Group 1 Twenty20 World Cup clash at Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday.

Buttler made the most of the two dropped chances to score a 47-ball 73 after a slow start, but Hales compensated for the slowness by playing a more aggressive role in the first half of the innings to reach his 11th Twenty20 International half-century in 40 balls, but lost his wicket to Santner in the next.

However, the skipper found his touch to raise his game a few notches higher, but a good final three overs by the New Zealand pacers halted England’s march towards a bigger score and restricted the defending ODI world champions to 179 for six with four wickets falling in the final three overs.

Both Santner and Sodhi were very effective on the pitch, which means England’s three-spin attack will be even more difficult to handle. New Zealand need a good start to chase the target and should not lose any early wicket as the openers are the key for the Kiwis. It is a wicket where a batter needs to spend considerable time before launching the assault and requires a lot of patience.

New Zealand pacers give perfect finishing touch

New Zealand pacers Southee and Ferguson have pulled the team back into contention after two good overs that cost only 15 runs and gaining three wickets. That enabled the Black Caps to restrict 163 for five. But the final over of Ferguson has undone some of the good work, where he bowled a no ball, thankfully the beamer didn’t go to the boundary. Still, the pacer finished it off well to limit the damage with three yorkers and conceding 16 runs and the wicket of Stokes. England finish their innings at 179 for six.

Buttler becomes England’s top-scorer in T20

Runs are coming in thick and fast, as expected. England with eight wickets in hand going hard at the New Zealand bowling, 27 runs coming in the last two overs. The last two overs could be really crucial for New Zealand as Boult is finishing his quota and Southee has only one left. Buttler in the process became England’s highest scorer in T20 Internationals, surpassing Eoin Morgan’s record of 2,458 in just 92 innings, while Morgan took 107 innings to reach the mark.

Buttler in ominous form

Buttler is in ominous form and dropping him is not going to do New Zealand any favours. The England skipper celebrated his second chance with two fours off Ferguson and now will be difficult to stop him from demolishing the New Zealand bowlers. At the other end, Moeen Ali tried to go after Sodhi and gives the leg-spinner his first wicket in his final over, Boult nearly dropped the catch but managed to hold on to it. After 14 overs, England are 110 for two with Buttler reaching his 18th half-century. Joining the skipper is Liam Livingstone. Sodhi also completes a tidy spell of 1/23 in four overs.

Santner gives New Zealand the breakthrough

Opener Hales reached his 11th Twenty20 International half-century off 40 balls and was stumped off the next ball, trying to force the pace, giving Santner the first wicket of the match and New Zealand the breakthrough. Thankfully, Santner is bowling his final over when left-hander Moeen Ali is at the crease. Santner’s success rate against the lefty’s is generally not great. The left-arm spinner has completed a tidy spell of four overs giving away just 25 runs and claiming a wicket. After 11, England are 85/1.

Spinners pull back, but still advantage England

The ball is gripping a lot on this weary, slow surface and the New Zealand spinners have bowled at the right areas to halt the progress of the England batters. But Buttler and Hales are adopting a different strategy, running hard and then making the bowler try something different, which they are putting it away to the fence. None of the pacers have made any impact for New Zealand, while the spinners have bowled five of the eight overs already, which could be an issue in the final 10 overs for the Black Caps. After 10, England are 77 for no loss. Another 100 possible in the final 10, given the depth of the England batting.

England gaining command

England have safely negotiated the powerplay overs withouth any loss of wicket. England skipper Jos Buttler survived a close chance when a lofted coverdrive was taken by a diving New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Buttler was walking away when the replays suggested that the ball had bounced off the ground before it got safely lodged in Williamson’s chest. The reprieve will be a huge boost to England as they now can go at a fast clip with the pacey Lockie Ferguson operating. After six overs, England are 48/0.

Perfect start for England

England openers Buttler and Hales have started on the right note. Apart from maintaining a healthy run-rate, the duo have kept the wickets in tact and have not given any early breakthrough to Boult or Southee. An early wicket is extremely important Boult and New Zealand to be successful, but without it, now England are looking at scoring big, which could add more pressure when the Black Caps are chasing. After three overs, New Zealand have brought in a spinner, which is a morale win for England. England are 21 for no loss.

Toss update:

Jos Buttler wins the toss and elects to bat first on a weary wicket that has been already used by Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the first of the double-header at Gabba. Both teams have retained their teams that played in the earlier matches.

England: Jos Buttler (captain, wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid.

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wicketkeeper), Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson.

England aim to bring their campaign back on track

By A.K.S. Satish, Sports Editor

Dubai: England are one of the favourites to win the title but thanks to one bad session and then the rain interruptions, the defending 50-over world champions are in precarious situation as they take on table-toppers New Zealand in the Group 1 clash in Brisbane on Tuesday.

In a clash of last ODI World Cup final, where New Zealand lost a thrilling final in the Super Over, New Zealand must be eager to avenge the loss and end England’s hopes in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia. England, who were just five runs behind when the rain stopped play and Ireland were declared winners on Duckworth Lewis Method also saw their next match against Australia abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Even against New Zealand there was a rain threat, which has stayed away to give Jos Buttler’s team some hope and the change of fortunes might well work in England’s favour. On paper, England have probably the best team in the Super 12, loaded with all-rounders, power-hitters, spinners and tearaway pacers. The balanced England team are in a must-win situation against New Zealand, who could be a tricky rivals.

New Zealand were clinical in their wins against Australia and Sri Lanka, but the Black Caps batting wears a weak look as only two batters have shone on both games, while the rest are not in the best of the touches. It might be difficult against a menacing England attack.

Going by the first match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the Gabba pitch wears a bit slow paced and the spinners will play a big role in the outcome of the contest and England have good arsenal in this department. And a total of 160 should be a winning score and the team winning the toss should bat first as batting fourth will be even more difficult. England should win today, which will also open up the group.