AUCKLAND, November 10: England snatched the Twenty20 international series against New Zealand in dramatic fashion in Auckland on Sunday, with a Super Over required to break the deadlock in scenes reminiscent of the World Cup final four months ago.
A Chris Jordan boundary on the last ball of the England innings brought the tourists level with New Zealand’s 146 pushing the rain-shortened match into a tiebreaking Super Over.
Jonny Bairstow, whose thumping Man-of-the-Match 47 enabled England to catch New Zealand after they lost three early wickets, partnered Eoin Morgan in a 17-run stand in the match- and series-deciding over.
But unlike the World Cup final, when even the Super Over was tied, this time New Zealand finished nine runs short to give England the win and the series 3-2.
Somewhat surprisingly, Tim Seifert opened their Super Over and was out of six after four balls while the hard-hitting Martin Guptill stood unemployed at the nonstriker’s end.
In a match reduced to 11 overs per side because of rain, Guptill and Colin Munro gave New Zealand a flying start after they lost the toss and were sent into bat.
Guptill peppered the short Eden Park boundaries with five sixes and three fours and needed only 19 deliveries to reach his 50 before being removed by Adil Rashid one ball later.
Munro had four sixes and two fours in his 46 off 21 balls.
England were rocked early in reply with Trent Boult removing Tom Banton (seven) and Eoin Morgan (17), while Tim Southee accounted for James Vince (1) to have the tourists at 39/3 after three overs.
Sam Curran pulled England back into the game with 20 runs off Scott Kuggeleijn’s sole over and Bairstow belted three sixes off Ish Sodhi in the next over.
The pair put on 61 in 24 balls before they fell on consecutive deliveries with Bairstow caught behind on the last ball of a Jimmy Neesham over and Curran (24) stumped on the first ball of Mitchell Santner’s next over.
In the final over of regular play, England needed 13 from the last three balls by Neesham when Jordan went to the middle and belted six, two, and four to set up the tie-breaker.
The first of two Tests between New Zealand and England starts in Tauranga on November 21. (AFP)