Some superlative death bowling by Ben Stokes and opener Jason Roy's blazing 78 saw England storm into the final of the ICC World Twenty20 with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over New Zealand
New Delhi: The 35,000 crowd at the Feroz Shah Kotla here started chanting 'India, India' as soon as Jos Buttler's six wrapped up the ICC World T20 first semi-final clash yesterday.
England's Joe Root (L) and Jos Buttler celebrate after winning the World T20 semi-final against New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
The crowd was giving England, who will play their second World T20 final after 2010, a feel of what they can expect in title clash if MS Dhoni's troops win in Mumbai today.
For New Zealand, who remained unbeaten in the group stage, the loss came at the wrong time. England chased down New Zealand's 153-8 by seven wickets and 17 balls to spare.
There were two moments that tilted things in England's favour — Jason Roy's 44-ball 78 and the fall of five NZ wickets for 20 runs in the last four overs.
Ben Stokes finished with 3-26 for England.
Roy looked in a destructive mood from the first over itself when he slammed four boundaries (three consecutive) to take 16 runs that threw Corey Anderson out of the attack.
Jason Roy during his match-winning innings vs the Kiwis in New Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla ground on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
Roy was effortless in his timing — a straight drive down the ground off Mitchell McClenaghan off the last ball of the third over was one of the best shots of the night.
He showed another glimpse of how sweetly he timed the balls yesterday: Roy barely moved his feet to Adam Milne's short-of-a-length delivery for a six over the long-off fielder. Roy showed no mercy to any Kiwi bowler, taking only 26 balls to reach his maiden half-century — one ball more than Eoin Morgan's record of the fastest T20I fifty for England.
New Zealand introduced their spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi after the Powerplay overs, but they could not make much of a difference to Roy, who was joined by Joe Root after Alex Hales holed out to Colin Munro at long-on.
Sodhi's two wickets in consecutive balls revived New Zealand's hopes of making a comeback in the game.
Roy missed a straighter delivery, which kept a bit low that went on to disrupt his furniture. Root (27) and Buttler (32) kept their calm to see England through.
Skipper Kane Williamson (32) and Munro (46) provided just the kind of partnership New Zealand needed after opener Martin Guptill departed, nicking one to wicketkeeper Buttler for 15 off nine balls.
The 74-run second-wicket stand off 50 balls laid the foundation for New Zealand to go for a big score.
At the half-way mark, they were 89-1, but the wickets of Williamson (caught & bowled Moeen Ali) and Munro (at third man) left New Zealand with just smoke and no fire.