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New Zealand Hope to Repeat Sunday’s Heroics Against Much Changed England

The Kiwis, who are without Kane Williamson, were out played in the first game by England, but bounced back in style with the return of Jimmy Neesham to square the series in Wellington.

Cricketnext Staff |November 4, 2019, 3:23 PM IST
New Zealand Hope to Repeat Sunday’s Heroics Against Much Changed England

England and New Zealand have brought back memories of the World Cup final from earlier this year with some thrilling cricket in the first two T20Is of the three-match series which is locked at 1-1.

On Tuesday, the action shifts to the Saxton Oval in Nelson for the decider. The only T20I played here previously dates back to December 2017, when New Zealand outclassed West Indies by 47 runs.

The Kiwis, who are without Kane Williamson, were out played in the first game by England, but bounced back in style with the return of Jimmy Neesham to square the series in Wellington.

Martin Guptill and Neesham were the stars on Sunday as New Zealand racked up 176/8 after being put in to bat and England fell 21 runs short of the target.

The major concern for the hosts, though, would be the fact that none of their batsmen has been able to cross the 50-run mark in the series as yet, something that didn't allow them to put up an imposing total while batting first in both games.

Guptill, who found some support in the form of Tim Seifert, Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme in the second T20I, will hope they can improve on that on Tuesday.

Among the bowlers Mitchell Santner has picked six wickets in two outings, but would definitely need more support for the final T20I if New Zealand are to replicate the performance from Sunday.

A much changed England side however would be glad their bowlers have done the job so far and not let the Kiwi batsmen run away with the game.

For the ODI World Champions, the biggest concern will be their batting lineup, which is what allowed New Zealand back into the series, and will expect the experienced Jonny Bairstow to lead from the front especially after his 78 not out in the warm up games.

England's chase in Wellington was dented by the early wickets of Bairstow and James Vince, before Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan began resurrecting the innings.

Chris Jordan's blitz late in the innings was a positive sign, but skipper Eoin Morgan would expect more from himself and his deputy Sam Billings, in the finishing stage of the innings.

Morgan and England will also be hoping to improve their standards on the field at Nelson, so as to not allow the hosts freebies en route the series.

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