Home NEWS Recent Match Report – England vs New Zealand 4th T20I 2023

Recent Match Report – England vs New Zealand 4th T20I 2023

New Zealand 179 for 4 (Seifert 48, Phillips 42, Chapman 40*) beat England 175 for 8 (Bairstow 73, Santner 3-30) by six wickets

New Zealand squared this four-match T20I series by chasing down 176 with relative ease at Trent Bridge. They got ahead of the game by belting 73 runs in the Powerplay, with Tim Seifert nailing 48 in his 50th T20I, then stayed there thanks to Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman.

England had started brightly themselves, with Jonny Bairstow crunching six sixes in his 73 off 41. But their innings fell away after his dismissal, as New Zealand’s three spinners squeezed in the middle overs; England’s total looked a little light at a venue with notoriously short boundaries, and so it proved.

This was due to be a five-match series before three ODIs, but the fifth T20I was quietly converted into a 50-over game last year with an eye on the World Cup. As a result, this was not quite a decider – and it felt decidedly low-key, with If Buttler opting to rest himself ahead of greater tests to come.

Yet it served as more valuable preparation for New Zealand, who recovered from an abject start to the series to share the trophy. Friday’s first ODI in Cardiff marks the start of the more relevant part of their tour, but this was a clinical victory under the Nottingham floodlights all the same.

Clinical Kiwis

Finn Allen played in the only way he knows how, smoking three of his first four balls for four before losing his off stump when attempting to smear Luke Wood across the line. His six-ball 16 was only a cameo, but ensured that New Zealand were ahead of the required rate throughout the chase.

Promoted to open, Seifert was brutish. He camped on the back foot, lofting England’s seamers back down the ground with mid-off inside the ring, and crunched Adil Rashid for two fours and a six in the fifth over. Daryl Mitchell was run out shortly after the Powerplay, taking on Wood in the deep, but New Zealand were in control.

Rehan Ahmedplaying his first international game at home – and in the city he grew up in – bowled tidily for his 2 for 27, having Seifert caught-and-bowled and Phillips caught in the deep, but Phillips had crunched Moeen Ali, Rashid and Brydon Carse in between times for his 42 off 25.

The rate was down to a run a ball by the time Phillips holed out, and Chapman finished the job in style, cruising to 40 not out off 25 balls. Rachin Ravindra cut the winning boundary through the infield, with Wood misfielding at cover to sum up England’s disappointing night.

Bairstow’s fireworks

After four quiet games for Welsh Fire in the Hundred, Bairstow has roared back to form in this series. He top-scored in England’s win in Manchester, batting through the innings for 86, and raced to 47 off 22 after five overs after Moeen chose to bat.

This was Bairstow’s first innings at Trent Bridge since his 136 off 92 in a Test against the same opposition last year, the knock that secured his status as Bazball’s standard-bearer. His first two boundaries – short-arm jabs for four and six off Matt Henry – were reminiscent of that century, and he swiped 17 runs off Kyle Jamieson’s first over as England raced to 63 for 0 after six.

Bairstow was the only England batter to score freely against spin through the middle, crunching both left-arm spinners – Ravindra and Mitchell Santner – for six, though holed out to long-on immediately after the second. He was due to keep wicket in the run chase, though handed over to Buttler after experiencing shoulder pain while batting; he later played down the severity of the injury.

England’s spin slowdown

Bairstow apart, England’s batting line-up floundered against spin for the second game running. Ish Sodhi was not at his best but Will Jacks edged him behind after a fourth consecutive unconverted cameo, before Harry Brook hoicked his drag-down to deep backward square leg for 4 off 8 balls.

Neither Dawid Malan nor Liam Livingstone looked at their best in making 26 apiece, and Santner claimed two wickets in his fourth over – Malan and Moeen caught in the deep on the leg side – to finish with 3 for 30. Ravindra, playing ahead of the rested Devon Conway, had Sam Curran caught at wide long-on, and the three spinners finished with combined figures of 6 for 68 in 10 overs.

When Henry closed things out with a superb final over, which culminated in Livingstone drilling his wide yorker straight to extra cover, England had fallen some way short of the total they had lined up. It did not take long for New Zealand’s top order to underline that their 175 was under-par.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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