World Cup 2019: England set 306 runs target against New Zealand


Jonny Bairstow’s second successive World Cup century left England well-placed in their crunch clash against New Zealand at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.

In a match where victory for either side would see them into the semi-finals, Bairstow again ensured England made a strong start.

Fresh from his 111 in a 31-run victory over India at Edgbaston on Sunday, Bairstow completed his ninth one-day international hundred off 95 balls, including 14 fours and a six.

But the next over saw his fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root (24) caught behind hooking at Trent Boult.

Bairstow could not go on after reaching three figures and played on for 106 to recalled paceman Matt Henry.

Jos Buttler, promoted to number four in the batting order, was caught at mid-off by Kane Williamson off Boult for 11 as England stumbled, slipping to 214-4 in the 35th over.

Earlier, Bairstow and fellow opener Jason Roy (60) got England off to a flyer with a partnership of 123 — their third century stand in a row this tournament — after home captain Eoin Morgan won the toss.

Roy, however, was nearly out to the first ball of the match when he had a wild swing at left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.

Seamer Tim Southee was playing for the first time at this World Cup after New Zealand suffered the setback of losing fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, their leading wicket-taker at the tournament, with a hamstring injury.

Roy was first to go, chipping all-rounder James Neesham to short extra cover to his obvious disgust.

But Bairstow carried on, driving Southee back over the bowler’s head for a six that took him to 90. He then pulled Southee for four to go to 96 before hitting a gift of a legside full toss from the paceman to complete his hundred.

All of England’s three defeats this tournament have come batting second. A loss to New Zealand would see them knocked out if Pakistan beat Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday.

But if New Zealand, like England looking to win the World Cup for the first time, lose, they should still go through to the last four on net run-rate.

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