England vs New Zealand: Hosts through to semi-finals with 87-run victory

England vs New Zealand: Hosts through to semi-finals with 87-run victory

The Kiwis lost their last six wickets for just 32 runs as Liam Plunkett hit the top of the bowling charts.

Chris Lincoln

England secured their passage to the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals with a game to spare after another inspiring display with both bat and ball helped them progress in challenging Cardiff weather.

Hales and Root lead the charge despite soft dismissals

Despite England posting a healthy total of 310, it was another desperate day for opener Jason Roy. With just 47 runs in his last seven innings, Roy is undoubtedly embarking upon one of the toughest spells of his career. His current lack of judgement and timing was clear even in the most gloomy conditions as he played all around an Adam Milne delivery that took Roy's leg stump out the ground for just 13.

Fortunately for England and Roy, fellow opener Alex Hales was in great nick once again, though will be disappointed with a soft dismissal. After reaching his half-century, Hales released the shackles by firing a six before playing onto his stumps with a loose shot off Milne on the very next delivery.

It was to be a similar story for Joe Root who joined Hales in a second wicket stand of 81. The number three made 64 from 65 deliveries before chopping the ball onto his stumps off Corey Anderson as captain Eoin Morgan departed cheaply between Hales and Root's errors of judgement.

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes played a valuable innings of 48 before departing to a similarly regrettable shot. Looking to reach his half-century, Stokes attempted to scoop Trent Boult only to divert the ball straight to Milne.

As wickets tumbled at one end, Jos Buttler found himself in brilliant form at the other. Taking to the likes of Milne and Mitchell Santner, Buttler made a compelling 61 off 48 before being left stranded with three balls left of the innings. The counter-attack proved critical in helping England to a defendable total, despite concluding their time in the middle with a whimper as Mark Wood and Jake Ball fell for golden ducks after consecutive deliveries.

Kiwi collapse leaves knockout hopes in the balance

The latter soon made up for his swift departure with an instant result in the opening over of the New Zealand innings. Luke Ronchi barely had time to take his stance as Ball knocked his stumps over on Ronchi's first delivery.

Yet Martin Guptill and captain Kane Williamson slowly hauled the Kiwis back into contention with a partnership of 62. With the contest tightly poised, Stokes' breakthrough to dismiss Guptill came at a crucial time for the hosts.

However, England were unable to build on the spark of success as the experienced head of Ross Taylor joined Williamson at the crease. The pair hung about for 17 overs to make 95 before Wood earned a vital edge off the captain before being gratefully snapped up by Buttler behind the stumps. Departing for 87, that wicket was to prove the turning point this time around.

With 143 runs required from 118 balls, there was no time for the New Zealand batsmen to play themselves in as a collapse took hold. Particularly through the combined efforts of Liam Plunkett (4-55) and Adil Rashid (2-47), England snapped up seven wickets in 85 balls for the loss of just 65 runs. 

The result secures a semi-final spot for England despite still having to play Australia who find themselves one point above New Zealand. The Kiwis play Bangladesh in their final group game with all three sides still able to join England in the knockout stages.