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Black Caps fight back to draw series 2-2

By Matthew Henry

ENGLAND were convincingly beaten by six wickets by New Zealand in the fourth T20 at Trent Bridge as the Black Caps fought back to draw the series 2-2.
The tourists were always ahead of the rate in pursuit of 176 and completed the chase with 16 balls to spare.
Opener Tim Seifert provided a quick start with 48 from 32 balls and Glenn Phillips took on the charge with 42 from 25.

Only 19-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, who dismissed Seifert and Phillips in his 2-27, was able to slow the flow of runs.
England failed to capitalise on their own rapid rapid start provided by Jonny Bairstow’s 73 from 41 balls as they fell away and posted only 175-8, having been 63-0 after six overs.

Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone both failed to cut loose in making 26 and Harry Brook missed the chance to further press his case for a World Cup selection U-turn by holing out for four from eight.
With the World Cup a month away, Bairstow added further worry by not taking to the field because of right shoulder pain.
The preparation for England’s defence of the 50-over title ramps up when the sides meet in the first of four one-day internationals in Cardiff on Friday.

Bowlers unable to stop New Zealand’s charge
England started this four-match series with two dominant victories. The Black Caps’ wins in the final two matches have been equally as one-sided.
England’s score felt below par on a small ground and so it proved.
New Zealand spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi changed the momentum with 3-30 and 2-21 but, in contrast, Adil Rashid was hit for two fours and a six by Seifert in his first five balls.

Ahmed bowled well – he had Seifert caught and bowled and Phillips taken in the leg-side deep – but New Zealand managed a short boundary better and England’s seamers, plus Rashid and Moeen Ali, went the distance.
Bairstow’s injury, which he played down afterwards, meant captain Jos Buttler, who had originally rested himself, took to the field with the gloves.

He will hope for more consistency in the ODI series with Joe Root and Ben Stokes among those set to return.

Brook misses chance to impress
When Bairstow peppered the leg side and struck five fours and six sixes, England looked on course for 200.

Instead, the spinners stemmed the flow before the seamers came back with far more control.Will Jacks missed another chance to impress as opener when nicking behind off Sodhi for 15 in the seventh over. Bairstow then hit Santner to long-on in the 12th.
That meant Brook joined Malan in the middle, but the righter-hander struggled for eight balls before he skied a catch off Sodhi to deep square leg.

Given he is not in the ODI squad, it could be Brook’s last chance to impress before the World Cup while it also gave Malan, one of those at risk if he is recalled, the opportunity to cement his case.
Malan, though, could not find top gear, despite hitting four fours. He was caught taking on the leg-side boundary, as was Moeen Ali and Sam Curran for one and five respectively.

Livingstone swung hard but only hit two boundaries at the end. New Zealand only conceded 38 from the final five overs with two boundaries – Tim Southee and Matt Henry particularly impressive.(BBC Sport)