England cruised home against New Zealand in a World Twenty20 Super Eight tie at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here Saturday.
New Zealand suffered their second successive defeat of the Super Eights by six wickets as English batsman Luke Wright smashed a 43-ball 76, including five sixes and five boundaries, to take England home.
Electing to bat first, the Black Caps kept losing wickets at regular intervals right from the start which halted them from putting together partnerships, from where they could never recover.
English pacer Steven Finn wrecked havoc for the Kiwi top order taking three wickets for 16 runs from his four overs.
Off-spinner Graeme Swann also played an important role in restricting New Zealand to a sub-150 total, chipping in the wicket of Rob Nicol and giving away 20 runs from his four.
The only batsman who provided some fireworks was James Franklin who scored a 50 of 33 balls before being run out. His innings included four boundaries and two sixes.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor and Nathan McCullum chipped in with 22 and 16, respectively, in the end to take the Black Caps to 148.
During the England innings, after losing openers Craig Kieswetter (4) and Alex Hales (22) early, Wright and Eoin Morgan (30) put up a 89-run partnership which literally took the game away from Ross Taylor led side.
Morgan provided support to Wright chipping in with ones and twos throughout his 31-ball innings. While Wright's brilliant hitting and strokeplay earned him the Man-of-the-match award.
Both teams play there next must-win ties here Monday. New Zealand take on West Indies while defending champions England take on hosts Sri Lanka.