Jason Roy’s stunning innings guided England to their second World Twenty20 final with a seven wicket victory over New Zealand in Delhi.
Colin Munro was the highlight of the Kiwi innings with 46 off 32-balls, but Ben Stokes took three wickets at the death as New Zealand posted 153 for seven from their 20 overs.
Roy took control of the run chase, smashing 78 off 44-balls, and Jos Buttler finished the game off in style with some blistering shots to guide England home.
Guptill departs, but Munro continues good start
Eoin Morgan called correctly and put the Kiwis into bat and after a blistering start from the two openers, England struck in the third over.
Martin Guptill took the attack to David Willey from ball one, but the bowler got the upper hand when he found the edge of his bat in the third over.
Munro picked up exactly where Guptill left off, striking three boundaries in-a-row from Liam Plunkett’s over, leaving New Zealand on 51 for one after the powerplay.
Adil Rashid and Stokes were brought into the attack to try and halter the scoring, but Kane Williamson helped himself to the first six of the innings from the latters over, hitting straight back past the bowler and into the stand.
Munro followed Williamson and also sent the ball flying into the stand, this time Rashid went the distance from a slog-sweep.
Ali brought in and breaks partnership
The pair were going along nicely at the halfway point, sitting on 89 for one and this forced Morgan into another bowling change, as England were desperate to break the partnership.
Moeen Ali’s third ball of the game brought a wicket, Williamson hit straight up in the air and the spinner caught well over his shoulder.
Munro brought up the 100 for the Kiwis, but he departed for 46 after he went after a wide delivery from Plunkett, the ball was spliced to Ali, who made no mistake with the catch, at third man.
Kiwis dragged back in closing overs
As the innings went on, England started to drag their opponents back and wickets began to tumble in the final four overs.
New Zealand were 133 for three heading into the closing stages, but the bowling at the death was brilliant, Chris Jordan took the wicket of Ross Taylor following Morgan’s superb diving catch.
Stokes, who had been expensive from his first two overs, picked up two wickets in as many balls, firstly removing Luke Ronchi for three and then Corey Anderson for 28.
Mitchell Santner was Stokes’ third victim and a final run out from the Durham all-rounder off the final ball of the innings completed a brilliant final four overs for England.
Roy sets tone of innings from the off
In their reply, England made a blistering start to their innings with Roy smashing four boundaries off the opening over from Anderson.
It was clear to see the tactics from Roy and Alex Hales, and they certainly got ahead of the run rate from the off, putting the bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Hales struck Mitchell McClenaghan for a straight six before Roy joined in with a six of his own from Santner, and the 50 was brought up inside five overs.
The openers got the score up to 67 without loss from their powerplay, 16 ahead of where New Zealand were at, and just one ball later Roy brought up his half-century.
Dominance continues after stunning powerplay
His 50, which is England’s second fastest at the World T20, came from just 26 balls and included nine boundaries and a maximum, but the Surrey opener lost his partner in the ninth over.
Hales tried to go big, but after the ball struck the bottom of his bat, Munro took a safe catch at long-on for the first wicket of the innings.
At the halfway point, England were cruising on 93 for one, and Roy was unbeaten on 73, but Ish Sodhi struck a decisive blow soon after, removing the danger man.
Buttler rounds off victory in style
Roy had to depart after the spinner dragged his delivery down, and then onto the stumps, and Sodhi sent Morgan back to the dugout with the next ball, trapping him in front LBW.
New Zealand’s spinners started to reign their opponents in, but Joe Root and Buttler stuck together through the middle overs to set up a magnificent finish.
Buttler took the attack to Sodhi, pulling away for a boundary first and then back-to-back sixes straight down the ground, to essentially put on
The scores were level after 17 overs, but not for long after Buttler hit the winning runs in style, sending the ball into the second tier of the stand.
England, who won the competition back in 2012, will go on to play either the hosts India or the West Indies in Sunday’s final at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.