Bairstow scores ton as England crush NZ to seal semis spot
England enters semi finals for the first time since 1992
Chester-le-Street: England entered the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the 1992 edition, beating New Zealand by 119 runs yesterday to fuel their "dream" of winning a maiden title.
Jonny Bairstow, who smashed 106 off 99 balls to become the first Englishman to score back-to-back hundreds in a World Cup, was mainly responsible for taking the hosts to 305 for eight on a pitch that got slower as the game progressed.
New Zealand did well to limit England to a little over 300, considering the start provided by Bairstow and Jason Roy (60 off 61) who shared an entertaining 123-run stand after Eoin Morgan opted to bat.
However, moments of brilliance from England and some ordinary cricket from the Black Caps led to their downfall as they folded up for 186 in 45 overs. New Zealand, who lost their last three leagues games to end with 11 points from nine games, remain in hunt to clinch the fourth and final semi-final spot. They have a much better net run rate than Pakistan who have nine points and must beat Bangladesh by a big margin in their final league match to have any hopes of pipping New Zealand for the remaining semi-final berth.
England again look like the team to beat having gotten the better of India and New Zealand. If things stand on the points table as they are, second-placed India will meet third-placed England in the semi-finals.
New Zealand, who lost to England for the first time in a World Cup since the 1983 edition, were virtually out of the game after losing their top four for 69 runs. Both their key players, Kane Williamson (27) and Ross Taylor (28), were run out to leave their team in deep trouble.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Dhanraj Pillay relives Indian Hockey's dream run of 1998!