Day 35 at the World Cup: England stormed into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1992 after Jonny Bairstow’s second consecutive century helped secure a comprehensive 119-run victory over New Zealand on Wednesday.
Bairstow smashed 106 to lift England to 305-8 in their final group game at the Riverside Ground, though the total could easily have been bigger but for a middle-order collapse.
New Zealand wobbled early in their chase, losing both openers cheaply, before a couple of run-outs effectively derailed them and they were all out for 186 in 45 overs.
England will face either holders Australia or twice champions India in the semi-finals at Edgbaston.
“We knew these two games were must win to give ourselves the best opportunity of reaching the semi-final,” Bairstow said after collecting the man-of-the-match award.
“We knew the performances in the last couple of games weren’t up to scratch. To play the way we have and hopefully keep it going into the semis is pleasing.
“We have got a couple days off...People will be sore after two gruelling games. Then we meet up and go again.”
New Zealand could not qualify on Wednesday but, given their superior run rate, Pakistan would need a freak result against Bangladesh on Friday to leapfrog the Black Caps.
On the World Cup Daily, Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins are following the Cup all around England and Wales. Their long weekly podcast The Final Word has been going for five years, but now it has changed into a short daily form for cricket’s biggest tournament.
Every day, The Final Word will team up with Firstpost to bring you a new episode from wherever Geoff and Adam are on the road. On trains and buses, in pubs, on the street, in parks, on barges floating down rivers, and anywhere else that they might end up.
They are also watching an awful lot of cricket, and can summarise all the matches that you didn’t have time to see, or can bring you into the discussion about the ones you did watch.
They will nominate their player of the day, who will probably not be the official man of the match, and will pick one moment or person or incident to go into The Final Word Hall of Fame, with an overall winner to come at the end of the tournament.
Tune in to The Final Word World Cup Daily tomorrow for Day 36.
With inputs from Reuters