New Zealand vs England 2019, 4th T20I: Important takeaways from the match
Coming into this match, the Blackcaps would have wanted a series win but England had other ideas. Kiwi skipper Tim Southee won the toss and decided to bowl first. The hosts started well with two wickets in the first seven overs but it was all down hill after that.
Dawid Malan (103) and Eoin Morgan (91) forged a record partnership and made sure that their team posted a daunting total of 241-3 in their quota of 20 overs. Batting second, New Zealand predictably failed to achieve the target as they were skittled out for 165 in 16.5 overs.
Malan's ton won him the Player of the Match award. With a win in this match, England has the series leveled at 2-2. Here are the significant takeaways from this explosive contest.
The exploits of Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan
After consecutive losses in the previous two matches, it was all about making a statement for Morgan and Malan and they did it in style. Together, the pair notched T20I's highest third-wicket partnership (182 runs from 74 balls) as well as the format's fourth-highest partnership for any wicket.
Malan scored England's fastest T20I century (48 balls), whereas Morgan notched their quickest T20I fifty (21 balls). With players like Buttler, Roy and Stokes set to be joining the batsmen in the T20I World Cup, England's firepower looks alarming for the other teams.
Glimpses of promise from a young leg spinner
Although the run-chase was a difficult one, the Kiwis had enough potential to cross the finish line. Remember, they managed 165 runs before getting all out in 16.5 overs, which clarifies that they didn't lag too much behind the required run rate.
The main problem the Blackcaps encountered was a lack of partnerships and Matt Parkinson was the one responsible for that. The young spinner bagged a 4-wicket haul and ensured that none of the Kiwi batsmen settled at the crease long enough to guide them to win.
An unpredictable final awaits
England seems to have a terrific bounce-back ability after keeping this series alive. They are the reigning 50-overs champions of the world, which means they have all the tools and confidence necessary to put a tough fight.
However, it is the New Zealanders' backyard in which the Englishmen are waging this war. The Kiwis scored 150+ totals in all the four matches of this series, which shows their batting prowess; their only area of concern is bowling.
Although England could exploit New Zealand bowling, it is tough to recreate the same record-breaking performance. Therefore both the teams have equal chances to win this series. It all depends on who performs better on the final day.