Buttler's late burst takes England past 300-run mark
Half-centuries from Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jos Buttler helped England to a respectable 310 all out in 49.3 overs against New Zealand in a Group A clash of the ongoing Champions Trophy at the Sophia Gardens here on Tuesday.
After being asked to bat first by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, England rode on an 81-run second-wicket partnership between Root (64) and Hales (56).
Both were guilty of not converting their fifties into hundreds despite looking good.
Buttler (61 not out) produced a late flourish to help his side get past the 300-run mark as the Kiwis applied the brakes at the right
All-rounder Ben Stokes played well for his 48 before getting out as Corey Anderson returned best figures of 3/55 while Adam Milne also took three wickets for the cost of 79 runs.
Jason Roy (13; 23b; 2x4) was sent back early by Milne as the opener tried to walk across his stumps to a quick delivery which knocked his stumps as he tried to flick the ball over the leg side.
In-form Root looked to continuing from where he had left off against Bangladesh. The 26-year-old showed no signs of ankle and calf injury which bothered him in the last game to milk Kiwi bowlers, especially left-arm spinner Mitchell Santer whom he spanked for 29 runs in 22 balls.
Milne, however, was in the thick of things again, breaking the promising second wicket stand between Hales and Root with a delivery that squared up the former on the
Hales departed just when he was looking good and timing the ball well. His departure brought England skipper Eoin Morgan to the crease. New Zealand badly needed the breakthrough to keep the hosts in check.Morgan (13) did not last long, edging a wide Corey Anderson delivery to wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi.
England's run rate though was always steady as after the first Powerplay they were 50/1 while after 30 overs when drinks was called for, they had reached 166/3 with Root looking good on 61 and Ben Stokes joining him at the crease on 19.
Shortly after drinks, Root -- who was not getting a lot of the strike -- chopped the ball back onto the stumps while trying to cut through the off-side handing Anderson his
Root and Stokes engineered England's second fifty-run stand with a 54-run association for the fourth wicket.
At the other end, Stokes went from strength to strength but fell short of a half century by playing an unnecessary uppercut that fell to Milne at third man off Boult's bowling.
Boult took a superb catch at short fine leg off Anderosn's bowling to dismiss Moeen Ali (12) who failed to support the explosive Buttler.
Adil Rashid (12) fell lbw to Santner despite reviewing the umpire's initial decision but thankfully for England Buttler found a steady partner at last in Liam Plunkett.
The 26-year old stumper brought up his fifty with a straight six over long-off helping his side to a par score alongiwth Lium Plunkett whose 10-ball 15 added to the cause.
Together the duo added a vital 49-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
England vs New Zealand
ENG: 310 (Joe Root 64, Jos Buttler 61, Alex Hales 56).
NZ: Adam Milne (3/79), Corey Anderson (3/55).