New Zealand vs England 2019, 5th T20I: 3 important take-aways from the match
New Zealand and England faced each other for the fifth and final T20I at Eden Park, Auckland. It was the decider of the five-match T20I series, with both teams having won twice each in the preceding matches.
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to bowl first. However, the rain started pouring down when the two teams were ready to start the proceedings, and that delayed the match.
As a result of the delay, the officials turned the game into an 11-overs-a-side affair.
Courtesy of some explosive batting by Martin Guptill (50 off 20), Colin Munro (46 off 21), and Tim Seifert (39 off 16), the Kiwis posted a total of 146-5 in the allocated 11 overs.
During England's run-chase, Jonny Bairstow scored an 18-ball 47 and gave them a promising start. The batsmen who followed did well to keep up the momentum, and Chris Jordan's 12 in the last three balls took the contest to a Super Over.
Bairstow and Morgan then scored 17 off Tim Southee's bowling in the one-over shootout. The New Zealand batters, however, fell short in the over bowled by Chris Jordan and got 8-1 in the end, giving England the series win.
Here are the significant takeaways from the match.
Bairstow the game-changer
Jonny Bairstow's batting (47 runs off just 18 balls with two fours and five sixes) was one of the main reasons behind England's win. Three big wickets (Tom Banton, James Vince and Eoin Morgan) fell in the first three overs, but Bairstow unflinchingly continued his attack until he was dismissed.
The explosive opener also made a useful contribution in the Super Over and took home the Player of the Match award. After an unimpressive Ashes series, Bairstow has bounced back in impression fashion - with the promise of more at the T20 World Cup.
The Kiwi batting muscle needs to be flexed more often
Although the Kiwis lost the match and the series, they still have some positives to take away from it. Their batting demonstrated the firepower they have in the lineup; if they can score 146 in 11 overs, then anything is possible for them.
On the road to T20 World Cup, New Zealand need to shape themselves into a more relentlessly attacking unit. In the first four matches of this series they got scores of more than 150, but they need to stretch themselves a little more to constantly notch up 190+ totals.
England get a much-needed uncontested win
This match was similar to the 2019 World Cup final, where England and New Zealand fought to a tie in the super over. With very little to separate the two teams, the ICC declared England as the winners by virtue of scoring more boundaries in the match.
England, however, would've preferred their maiden World Cup triumph to be a straightforward one. Failing to stamp their authority at home would've bothered them until this series, where they finally proved their dominance over New Zealand with an uncontested win.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule