England locked down their place in the World Cup semi-finals as Jonny Bairstow’s second successive century fired them to a dominant 119-run win over New Zealand.
Little more than a week after defeat to Australia left them fighting for their tournament lives, Eoin Morgan’s men were making plans for their first appearance in the last four since 1992.
They are now guaranteed to finish third in the table and will face either Australia or India at Edgbaston on Thursday.
That they do so with their identity crisis over and morale peaking owes much to Bairstow’s 106, a second bloody-minded hundred in four days that underpinned England’s 305 for eight.
Still i have played twice the number of matches you have played and i m still playing. Learn to respect ppl who have achieved.i have heard enough of your verbal diarrhoea.@sanjaymanjrekar— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) July 3, 2019
Jonny Bairstow and Michael Vaughan do not have the monopoly on spats between cricketers and a former international turned pundit, with tensions apparently running high in the India camp.
Since Southee ripped England up at Wellington with 7 for 33 at the last World Cup, he's taken 8 for 511 against them (not including today).— Rory Dollard (@thervd) July 3, 2019
Tim Southee would have been hoping to stake his claim having been overlooked so far, first because of a calf injury and then because of the form of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry. Ferguson’s tight hamstring handed Southee his first opportunity in the tournament but figures of one for 70 mean he has taken nine for 581 since last facing England in the World Cup.
Bairstow became the first Englishman to register back-to-back centuries in a World Cup as he followed up a magnificent hundred against India at Edgbaston on Sunday with a sparkling 106 from 99 balls in the north-east. The innings marked his third successive three-figure score against New Zealand, whose last visit to this ground four years ago saw the Yorkshireman amass an unbeaten 83 which propelled England to a bilateral series victory.
The union between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor always seemed instrumental to New Zealand’s hopes of overhauling their total. It came to an end in unfortunate circumstances, at least for the Kiwis. Ross Taylor’s straight drive clipped the fingertips of the outstretched bowling arm of Wood in his follow through before cannoning into the stumps at the non-striker’s end, with Williamson out of his ground while backing up.
Bairstow looked in supreme touch almost from ball one against a side he has taken a liking to in recent years. The Yorkshireman’s two cute glances for four in Colin De Grandhomme’s only over were compelling, both strokes bisecting the fielders between point and short third man. However, when on 84 Bairstow unfurled a sensational straight drive off the rusty Tim Southee that sailed over not only the bowler’s head but the boundary rope as well.
Was that the best catch of #CWC19 so far?— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 3, 2019
Download the official app to watch it and all #ENGvNZ highlights 👇
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ANDROID 🤖 https://t.co/Lsp1fBwBKR pic.twitter.com/dykqjZGP6p
Jos Buttler had a quiet day with the willow in hand after being promoted up the order, making 11 off 12 balls, but he still made his presence felt with a supreme take to dismiss Martin Guptill. A leg-side delivery from Jofra Archer looked innocuous enough but Guptill’s tickle down the leg-side saw Buttler spring into action, flinging himself to his left and taking a low one-handed grab.
June 4: Afghanistan v West Indies at Headingley