New Zealand vs England 2019, 3rd T20I: 3 talking points from the match
Hosts' skipper Tim Southee won the toss and decided to bat first as Martin Guptill got his side off to a top start before he was removed off the penultimate ball of the fourth over for a well-made 17-ball 33, decorated with seven fours.
Once Guptill was sent back, Colin de Grandhomme who top-scored with 55, Ross Taylor (27) and James Neesham (20) contributed with some vital runs from the middle order while Mitchell Santner produced an unbeaten 9-ball 15 that took New Zealand to 180/7 from their 20 overs.
The England batsmen found it quite hard throughout the chase and failed to cross the finish line. Their top-order gave them a much-needed start but the others, however, failed to carry on the momentum. As a result, England finished with just 166/7, 14 runs short of the required target.
Courtesy of a 14-run win, New Zealand took a 2-1 lead in the five-match T20I series and now have a big chance of sealing a series win from the next game. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the recently concluded third T20.
Colin de Grandhomme, a useful hand in the middle order
Colin de Grandhomme made a significant contribution with the bat as after he came in to bat at number four, the right-hander notched up a 35-ball 55 at a strike rate of 157.14, with five boundaries and three massive sixes for which he was rightfully named as the man of the match.
One should note that the all-rounder played the previous two matches at number four and fared decently well. Given that this series will be a perfect dress rehearsal for the 2020 World Cup, if de Grandhomme continues his good show, he could be in line to cement his spot at that position.
England's experimental approach
England's view of the whole series looks a bit clear after this match. The World Cup winners seem to be considering this tour of New Zealand as a ground for experimentation. Perhaps they are doing so with the upcoming T20 World Cup on the mind as six England youngsters have received their maiden T20I caps so far in this series.
Lewis Gregory, Sam Curran, Pat Brown, and Saqib Mahmood had already made their debuts before this third T20I, and in this game, Tom Banton and Matt Parkinson were handed their maiden spot in the playing XI.
England face the stiff task of claiming a series win
Post the culmination of the first three matches, England must believe that the time to end the experimentation in terms of the playing XI is here. Given that the series is on the line, it could be about time that England bring back their star players to pick up a series-levelling win from the fourth match.
The visitors have seen all the potential they have had to see in their young guns, and now it is time for the star players and veterans to come back into the team, to challenge the Kiwis in the remaining two matches and pick up important wins.