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New Zealand edge out England by 14 runs after supreme death overs display
Match Report

New Zealand edge out England by 14 runs after supreme death overs display

England were undone by quality bowling from pace duo Blair Tickner and Lockie Ferguson as New Zealand squeezed a 14-run triumph in the third T20I to obtain a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

The tourists appeared to be cruising to the steep target of 181 but the departure of skipper Eoin Morgan was followed by a procession of wickets with England ultimately falling well short in their 20 overs.

England lost five wickets in the space of 18 balls during the middle overs allowing the Black Caps to wrestle back the momentum and march towards victory.

Debutant Tom Banton's brief stay at the crease was embellished by two emphatic boundaries and a powerful hit over midwicket for six helping England to a rapid start to their chase.

A subtle variation in pace from Tickner brought his demise for a 10-ball 18 bringing the pair of Dawid Malan and James Vince to the crease.

Both players built on their newfound form in the series and forged a 63-run stand that punished the wayward New Zealand bowling.

Malan impressed with brisk scoring as he took calculated risks to register eight boundaries and a maximum in his 34-ball 55 - the fifth half-century of his T20I career in eight matches.

The left-handed batsman then perished off a rank full toss from Ish Sodhi erring in placement as he deposited the innocuous delivery into the hands of the fielder.

Later, Morgan began sprightly fetching back-to-back maximums off the bowling of Mitchell Santner but the wily off-spinner returned sharply to have him mistime a slog that was snapped up by Colin Munro positioned at long-on.

The contest heavily tilted in the favour of New Zealand thereon as it provided them with an opening into England's fragile and inexperienced middle order.

Vice-captain Sam Billings was run out by an underarm throw opted by Munro while Vince was dismissed for a relatively slow-paced 49.

England eventually stuttered to 166-7 with little impetus from the lower order to pose a challenge to Ferguson and Tickner - both of whom returned identical figures of 1-25 in their four-over spells.

Colin de Grandhomme bagged the man of the match prize for his belligerent 55 from 35 balls as most of the New Zealand batsmen chipped in with handy contributions to lift their total to 180-7.

A ravishing display of fine strokes helped Martin Guptill to a breezy 17-ball 33 before Munro got out for another cheap score.

The hosts then thrived on fireworks from the bat of de Grandhomme, who struck three sixes and five fours, but they stumbled in the death overs, ending 10-15 runs short of the desired total.