A brilliant half century by Luke Wright helped England beat the BLACKCAPS by six wickets in the second round Super 8 fixture in Pallekele today.
There is still a chance New Zealand can progress to the semi-final but need to beat the West Indies on Monday and rely on Sri Lanka to go through the Super 8 stages undefeated while net-run-rate will also be a factor.
After winning and toss the BLACKCAPS made 148 for six on a sluggish wicket with England making 149 for four in the 19th over.
It was a mixed bag from the BLACKCAPS new-ball bowlers with Kyle Mills conceding just three runs off his first two overs but at the other end Tim Southee went for 16 off his first.
The introduction of spin in the fourth over brought immediate success with Daniel Vettori bowling Kieswetter for four and three overs later Nathan McCullum did the same to Hayes who has struck 22.
However, the wickets brought in England’s two from batsmen with Luke Wright and Eoin Morgan plundering 89 for the third wicket.
Morgan (30) was exceptional, taking Nicol for consecutive sixes in the 16th over before going for one to many in the following over off Kyle Mills. It took a brilliant running catch in the out-field from Doug Bracewell at long-on to complete the dismissal.
Wright was in remarkable touch and a belligerent mood, hitting one of his five sixes 93 metres. He was eventually caught at cover in the 19th over for 76 off 43 deliveries but had already batted his team to a winning position.
Mils (1-23), Vettori (1-20) and Nathan McCullum (1-22) were all tidy.
New Zealand made a slow start to their innings after losing two top order wickets inside four overs.
Martin Guptill was trapped LBW for five while Brendon McCullum sliced a ball to third man for 10.
A promotion for Kane Williamson saw him come in at four but he soon lost his partner, Rob Nicol, who holed out to deep square leg for 11, leaving New Zealand teetering on 42 for three.
Williamson grafted his way to 17 before nicking one to the keeper bringing Ross Taylor and James Franklin together with the pair putting together a partnership of 40 for the fifth wicket.
Taylor succumbed to the lure of the short boundary at mid-wicket, pulling a short delivery to the man on the boundary for 22.
Franklin continued to be aggressive, taking 16 runs off Danny Briggs’ 15th over and 14 runs off Bresnan’s 17th before he was run-out for 50 in the final over.
A quick 16 run cameo from Nathan McCullum, which included two massive sixes, closed out the innings.
England’s tall fast bowler, Steven Finn, was their most impressive taking three for 16 with Briggs and Swann picking up one apiece.