England beat New Zealand in World T20 warm up match

Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) England produced an impressive all-round performance to outclass New Zealand by six wickets in their warm-up match ahead of the World Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.

Batting first, skipper Kane Williamson struck a quick fire half-century as New Zealand posted 169/8 in 20 overs.

In reply, openers Jason Roy (55) and Alex Hales (44) used their skills to good effect as England chased down the total with ease, scoring 170/4 in 19.2 overs.

Chasing a target of 170, England got off to a flying start with openers Roy and Hales smashing the Kiwi bowlers to all parts of the ground to pile up 53 runs in the powerplay.

But after striking seven fours and two sixes, Roy had to head back to the pavilion as he was caught by Trent Boult off the bowling of off-spinner Mitchell Santner to have England at 77/1 in 8.2 overs.

Incoming batsman Joe Root (12) too fell in the space of four overs to hand New Zealand a slight advantage.

With Hales looking good to bring up his half-century, off-spinner Nathan McCullum got him caught and bowled in the 16th over followed by Eoin Morgan (20) in the 18th over to take the pressure away from the Kiwis.

But incoming hard-hitting batsmen Jos Buttler (24 not out) and Ben Stokes (8 not out) took their team over the line.

Mitchell Santner (2/24) and Nathan McCullum (2/25) were the pick of the Kiwi bowlers.

Earlier, opting to bat, New Zealand’s hard-hitting opener Martin Guptill (16) gave the team a good start but unfortunately threw his wicket away as he caught by Chris Jordan at mid-on off the bowling off Reece Topley in the second over itself. New Zealand were 19/1 then.

Leading from the front, his opening partner and skipper Kane Williamson (63) held on striking nine boundaries and one six to help his team cross the 50-run mark. Williamson was well supported in the end by Henry Nicholls (14).

Despite the fall of Guptill, Williamson scored at a good pace to bring up his half-century in just 26 balls.

But as both the batsmen was looking set to pile up some useful runs, off-spinner Moeen Ali got the much needed breakthrough dismissing Nicholls in the eighth over.

Incoming batsman Luke Ronchi (13) along with his skipper helped the team cross the 100-run mark in the 10th over itself.

The Kiwis suffered a double blow when set batsmen Rochi and Williamson were dismissed in the 11th and 13th overs respectively to have New Zealand at 110/4.

From there on, the middle and lower order batsmen (Mitchell Santner 10, Nathan McCullum 2, Grant Elliott 14, Mitchell Mcclenaghan 1) departed in quick succession as a disciplined English bowling line-up held New Zealand to less than 170 in 20 overs. Ross Taylor (19) and Tim Southee (11) remained unbeaten.

Off-spinner Rashid (3-15) and seamer Reece Topley (2-39) were the pick of the bowlers for England.

Brief scores: New Zealand 169/8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 63; Adil Rashid 3/15, Reece Topley 2/39) vs England 170/4 in 19.2 overs (Jason Roy 55, Alex Hales 44; Mitchell Santner 2/24, Nathan McCullum 2/25)

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