Trans Tasman T20 Tri-series: Kane Williamson's skillful 72-run knock helps New Zealand beat England by 12 runs

Kane Williamson silenced his critics with a half century as New Zealand defeated England by 12 runs in the fourth match of the T20 tri-series in Wellington on Tuesday, severely denting the tourists' hopes of making the final.

AFP, February 13, 2018

Wellington: Captain Kane Williamson silenced his critics with a half century as New Zealand defeated England by 12 runs in the fourth match of the T20 tri-series in Wellington on Tuesday, severely denting the tourists' hopes of making the final.

Williamson top-scored with 72 from 46 balls and opener Martin Guptill contributed 65 as the Black Caps battled to a tight victory over England.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates his half century during the first Twenty20 cricket match between New Zealand and England at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on February 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Marty MELVILLE

Kane Williamson slammed his eighth T20I half-century. AFP

The hosts had set a target of 197, and restricted England to 184 for nine in reply.

The result leaves Jos Buttler's men without a win in the series after losses to Australia in their previous two matches.

Buttler put the hosts in after winning the toss, hoping an mottled-looking drop-in pitch with huge bald patches would prove unplayable.

But the gamble backfired as the wicket held up and New Zealand's batsmen finally hit their stride after three straight T20 losses.

"The wicket obviously played a lot better than everyone thought and produced a really good game," said Buttler, who was standing in as captain for the injured Eoin Morgan.

Williamson said it was a crucial win for New Zealand, who can seal a spot in the final of the triangular series with a win over Australia on Friday in Auckland.

On a personal note, his captain's knock was also rewarding after he had come under fire for a recent lean spell in the shortest form of the game.

"There's been a number of occasions recently when I've wanted to contribute more, so it was nice to spend some time in the middle today," he said.

New Zealand's move to shore up the batting also paid off as former Hong Kong international Mark Chapman made a useful cameo of 20 off 13 on his New Zealand debut.

But the target was still achievable given Westpac Stadium's small boundaries, and England shrugged off the early loss of Jason Roy as fellow opener Alex Hales took up the cudgels.

Hales blasted three sixes and six fours in 24 balls to depart on 47, and England looked comfortable as they reached 95 for two.

However when a dawdling James Vince was run out by Williamson, it started a steady stream of wickets that stole England's momentum.

Dawid Malan valiantly tried to revive the innings with 59 off 40 balls, but the only other batsman to offer any resistance was David Willey, whose departure on 21 spelled the end of England's chances.

Updated Date: Feb 13, 2018

T20 LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Hyderabad
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Kolkata
14 8 6 0 16
4
Rajasthan
14 7 7 0 14
5
Mumbai
14 6 8 0 12
6
Bangalore
14 6 8 0 12
7
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
8
Delhi
14 5 9 0 10




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3499 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3511 98
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5257 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Australia 3327 104
6 Pakistan 3279 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2990 130
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114