England cricket team defeated New Zealand by 76 runs at the McLean Park to level the five-match T20I series 2-2. The visitors posted a mammoth 241-3 after the initial onslaught by middle-order batsmen Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan. The duo formed a breath-taking 182-run third-wicket stand before dismissing the hosts for just 165.
In a high-scoring affair, New Zealand captain Tim Southee won the toss and decided to field. The English team lost both their openers at 58 after 7.2 overs. Dawid Malan and skipper Eoin Morgan then formed a huge 182-run stand for the third wicket. Malan scored 103* from just 51 balls to register his maiden T20I hundred. Morgan, too, scored a quick-fire 91 from 41 balls before getting caught at deep extra cover in the last over of the innings. New Zealand never got going in their run-chase as they were shot out for just 165 inside 17 overs. England’s 76-run win also levels the series 2-2 with one match left to play.
The T20 action will now proceed with the series-deciding final match on November 10. The match is scheduled to be held at the Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday and will start at 6:30 AM IST. A win in Auckland will serve as a huge confidence booster for the victorious team before the Test series. Additionally, with less than a year left for ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, both teams will be eyeing a series win to gain a winning momentum in the shortest format of the game.