England played three debutants- Sam Curran, Pat Brown and Lewis Gregory- in the opening T20I versus New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. On the other hand, New Zealand had most of their key players, albeit their regular skipper Kane Williamson wasn’t there. Despite facing a relatively inexperienced team, the Kiwis lost by seven wickets to concede a 1-0 lead in the series.
The second of the five T20Is is scheduled to be played on Sunday, November 3 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Another loss will make it a must-win scenario for the hosts in the last three matches. Tim Southee and Co have a decent record at the ground, having won seven out of 10 matches. They have won their last five T20Is in Wellington with their last defeat coming in 2013.
Pitch and Conditions
The venue has hosted 10 T20Is out of which only three were won by the team, batting first. Hence, chasing seems to be a wise option going by the numbers. The average score is 159 and it means that a fairly high-scoring affair seems to be on the cards. The sun will be out throughout with no chances of rain. The temperature will be around 21 degrees Celsius. The humidity will be in the 50s.
The Black Caps may not wish to make a change after a solitary defeat. Colin Munro after his century in the practice match, threatened last time, but got out on 21. Martin Guptill’s poor run of form continued after scoring only a couple. Tim Seifert and Colin de Grandhomme also failed to convert after getting a few to the boundary. Ross Taylor looked in decent touch, having scored 44 off 35.
Daryl Mitchell’s late blitz was crucial as it took the hosts over the 150 mark. Apart from Mitchell Santner, the rest of the bowlers couldn’t dismiss a single batsman and that could be somewhat concerning. Santner was also tough to get away as he gave away runs at 5.75. Lockie Ferguson was frugal with an economy of 7. Kuggelejin, skipper Southee and Ish Sodhi leaked runs alarmingly.
Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (C), Scott Kuggeleijn, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner.
The Brits won’t wish to tinker with their winning combination. Dawid Malan got a couple away to the boundary, but fell prey to Santner. The southpaw will be looking for a substantial score under his belt. Barring him, the rest of the batting stepped up big time and not allowing the pressure to mount. Jonny Bairstow started off in a positive note with a 28-ball 35 that set the tone for the chase.
James Vince came first down and he got 59 runs. In fact, it was his 54-run stand with Morgan, who scored 34, that put England on the driver’s seat. Sam Curran and Pat Brown impressed on debut with identical figures. But Chris Jordan was the standout bowler with the wickets of Seifert and Munro. Meanwhile, Joe Denly has been ruled out of the series after he damaged a ligament in his ankle.
Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Eoin Morgan (C), Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Pat Brown.
Probable Top Performers
Martin Guptill – New Zealand | Eoin Morgan – England
TV– Star Sports
Match Timings – 14:00 local time, 06:30 IST (01:00 AM GMT)
The prediction is for the team, batting second to win the match.
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