Kiwis storm into semis

Kiwis storm into semis

Shane Bond, Grant Elliott sparkle

 New Zealand’s pace bowler Shane Bond (centre) celebrates with his team-mates the dismissal of England’s Joe Denly at Johannesburg on Tuesday. AFPFaced with a must-win situation in their final league encounter against already-qualified England, New Zealand outclassed their opponents on the technical as well as tactical fronts to complete a four-wicket triumph at the Wanderers on Tuesday and finish on top of the Group B standings.

Kiwis will face runners-up of Group A in the second semis in the same venue on Saturday.
Daniel Vettori won a crucial toss on a surface that kept the faster men interested throughout the contest. England didn’t recover from the second-ball dismissal of skipper Andrew Strauss and were shot out for 146 despite a fluent counter-attacking 40 from Paul Collingwood as man of  the match Grant Elliott returned career-best figures of four for 31.

New Zealand began their chase in sensational fashion, McCullum and Martin Guptill lashing out at practically everything in their hitting arc. The openers realised 84 off just 75 deliveries to all but secure victory, though the Kiwis did endure a collapse triggered by Stuart Broad before reaching 147 for six. No praise can be too high for the manner in which McCullum and Guptill approached the modest run chase, especially given the hiccups that followed. Aware of the pitfalls of trying to take the conventional path, McCullum in particular charged the bowlers with gay abandon, unmindful of where he tonked the ball so long as it was out of reach of the fielders.

Guptill was subdued only in comparison on his way to a stylish half-century as New Zealand coasted home with 137 deliveries in the bag, thus finishing ahead of England on nett run rate and consigning Sri Lanka to an early flight home.

The Kiwis took flight right at the start, Kyle Mills and the express Shane Bond blowing the English top open and setting the stage for the 30-year-old Elliott to nip away at the soft underbelly.  Elliott responded magnificently in the absence of Daryl Tuffey – ruled out of the tournament with a broken hand – by getting the ball to wobble around.

Despite Collingwood’s aggression and a show of intent from Ravi Bopara, it needed a 29-run last-wicket stand between James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom for England to reach 146, just not enough even in favourable conditions.

Score board

Strauss c McCullum b Mills    0
Denly b Bond    5
(12b, 1x4)
Shah c McCullum b Bond    3
Collingwood c Taylor b Elliott    40
(58b, 2x4, 3x6)
Morgan c Taylor b Butler    9
(40b, 1x4)
Bopara lbw Bond    30
(51b, 2x4)
Wright c McCullum b Elliott    4
(6b, 1x4)
Broad c & b Elliott    1
Swann c McCullum b Elliott    11
(20b, 1x4)
Sidebottom c Taylor b Vettori    20
(41b, 3x4)
Anderson (not out)    4
Extras (B-4, LB-4, W-9, NB-2)    19
Total (all out, 43.1 overs)    146
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Strauss), 2-10 (Denly), 3-13 (Shah), 4-50 (Morgan), 5-80 (Collingwood), 6-90 (Wright), 7-95 (Broad), 8-109 (Swann), 9-117 (Bopara).
Bowling: Mills 10-2-19-1, Bond 10-2-21-3, Franklin 6-0-31-0 (w-1), Butler 8-1-34-1 (w-3, nb-2), Elliott 8-0-31-4 (w-5), Vettori 1.1-0-2-1.
Runs during: Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 23/3; Power Play 2: 11-15 overs: 13/0; Power Play 3 (batting): 36-40 overs: 15/0.
McCullum c Bopara b Broad    48
(39b, 4x4, 3x6)
Guptill c Swann b Anderson    53
(55b, 7x4, 1x6)
Broom c Morgan b Sidebottom    17
(36b, 1x4)
Taylor c Swann b Broad    1
Elliott c Morgan b Broad    3
Hopkins c Morgan b Broad    2
Vettori (not out)    10
(8b, 2x4)
Franklin (not out)    2
Extras (LB-7, W-4)    11
Total (for 6 wkts, 27.1 overs)    147
Fall of wickets: 1-84 (McCullum), 2-113 (Guptill), 3-114 (Taylor), 4-118 (Elliott), 5-130 (Hopkins), 6-140 (Broom).
Bowling: Anderson 10-0-53-1, Sidebottom 6-0-32-1 (w-2), Broad 8.1-1-39-4 (w-1), Collingwood 3-0-16-0 (w-1).
Runs during: Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 66/0; Power Play 2 (batting): 11-15 overs: 27/1; Power Play 3: Not taken.