New Zealand staged a stunning comeback in the final T20I, drawing the series against England. Jonny Bairstow’s explosive 73 couldn’t secure victory as New Zealand clinched a six-wicket win.
In a thrilling final T20I match on Tuesday, New Zealand displayed a clinical performance with both bat and ball to stage a commendable comeback and draw the four-match T20I series against England. Despite losing the opening two games, the visitors managed to win the next two, sharing the spoils and finishing on a high ahead of the upcoming ODI leg of the tour.
With Jos Buttler rested for the game, Jonny Bairstow took charge early in the innings, unleashing a flurry of boundaries against the New Zealand bowlers. Bairstow hammered Matt Henry for a four and a six over deep backward square leg to get England off to a flying start. Kyle Jamieson also faced the wrath of Bairstow in his first over, conceding two sixes and a four. Bairstow raced to 48 off just 24 balls by the end of the powerplay as England reached 63.
However, New Zealand slowly began to take control of the match with their spinners putting on a masterclass. Ish Sodhi struck in the very first over after the powerplay, dismissing Will Jacks. Bairstow continued his aggressive approach but eventually fell for a superb 73 in the 12th over. England’s innings saw a brief resurgence when Dawid Malan broke free, hitting Jamieson for three boundaries in an over.
From 126/2 after 13 overs, England managed to reach a total of 175/8 in their allotted 20 overs, as New Zealand’s bowlers tightened their grip on the game. Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone were dismissed, with Mitchell Santner picking up crucial wickets in his final over.
In reply, New Zealand’s openers, Tim Seifert and Daryl Mitchell, replicated Bairstow’s heroics in the powerplay and even surpassed his performance, registering an impressive 73 runs in the initial six overs. England finally managed to break the partnership with a run-out and the dismissal of Seifert for 48.
However, Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman continued to accelerate the run chase. Phillips contributed a quick 42, including two sixes, before falling to Adil Rashid. Chapman then took charge, finding the boundaries regularly, and Rachin Ravindra finished the game with 16 balls to spare.
New Zealand chased down the target, securing a six-wicket victory with a final score of 179/4 in 17.2 overs.
- England: 175/8 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 73; Mitchell Santner 3/30, Ish Sodhi 2/21)
- New Zealand: 179/4 in 17.2 overs (Tim Seifert 48, Glenn Phillips 42; Rehan Ahmed 2/27)
With this remarkable comeback, New Zealand shared the T20I series with England, setting the stage for an exciting ODI leg of the tour.