WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand fast bowlers Blair Tickner and Lockie Ferguson shared four wickets to trigger an England batting collapse that helped the hosts to a thrilling 14-run win in the third Twenty20 international at Nelson on Tuesday.
England, chasing 181 for victory, were cruising at 139-2 in the 15th over but lost five wickets in a flurry to end their 20 overs on 166-7.
The victory gave the Black Caps a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. The teams now head to Napier for the penultimate match on Friday, which England must win to keep their hopes of winning the series alive.
Ferguson and Tickner finished with identical figures of 2-25 while all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was Man of the Match for his knock of 55 from 35 balls, which helped the team post 180-7 after they opted to bat first.
De Grandhomme hit five fours and three sixes to build New Zealand’s innings after opener Martin Guptill’s fast start of 33 off 17 deliveries.
England opener Dawid Malan gave a fitting reply for the touring side with a 34-ball 55 with James Vince keeping the team firmly on course in the chase with 49.
England captain Eoin Morgan smashed Mitchell Santner for two sixes in successive deliveries before holing out in the deep against the left-arm spinner, which started the collapse as England lost five wickets for 10 runs.
“I think that’s one that got away from us,” said Morgan. “We were in control for the whole chase until we were three or four down, probably the lack of experience in the chase cost us.
“But the guys need to play more games, need to get into situations like that.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford)