New Zealand snatched a dramatic 140-run victory against England in the third Twenty20 International on Tuesday at Nelson to go 2-1 up in the five-match series.
Chasing a stiff 181, England were on track to overhaul New Zealand’s target when they reached reached 139 for two in the 15th over, with captain Eoin Morgan in full flight as he cracked sixes off consecutive Mitchell Santner deliveries.
However, with the tourists needing 42 off the remaining 31 deliveries, Santner turned the equation around as he had Morgan caught by Colin Munro off the final ball of the over.
England failed to capitalise on the solid foundation laid by Dawid Malan (55) and James Vince (49) at the top of the innings.
Morgan’s departure triggered a collapse which saw Munro run out Sam Billings for one in the following over before Blair Tickner removed Vince.
In the space of two deliveries Lockie Ferguson bowled Lewis Gregory without scoring and had Sam Curran caught for two leaving Tom Curran and Saqib Mahmood to struggle through to the end.
“That’s one that got away,” England captain Morgan said, pointing to the lack of experience in his squad.
“We were in control for the whole chase until we were three or four down, probably that’s a lack of experience. The the guys need to get more games into them at this level.”
For New Zealand, Ferguson and Tickner both finished with two for 25 while spinner Santner and Ish Sodhi took a wicket apiece.
“It could have gone either way at the halfway mark. But we knew if we could keep taking wickets it would be touch for them,” New Zealand captain Tim Southee said.
Earlier, after opting to bat, a sound middle-order partnership by Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor laid the basis for New Zealand after Martin Guptill had given them a flying start with 33 off 17 deliveries.
De Grandhomme, who also won the Man-of-the-Match award, smacked 55 off 35 while Taylor produced a more sedate 27 from 24 in a 66-run stand after New Zealand were three down in the eighth over.
Brief scores: New Zealand 180/7 in 20 overs (Colin de Grandhomme 55, Martin Guptill 33; Tom Curran 2-29, Matthew Parkinson 1-14) beat England 166/7 in 20 overs (Dawid Malan 55, James Vince 49; Lockie Ferguson 2-25, Blair Tickner 2-25) by 14 runs