New Zealand pulled off an impressive six-wicket victory against England at Trent Bridge, leveling the T20 International series at 2-2.
Jonny Bairstow’s blazing 73 runs initially gave England a flying start, setting a target of 176 for the Kiwis.
England had won the first two matches, but New Zealand came back strong, securing a 2-2 draw. The Black Caps’ spinners, especially Mitchell Santner, limited England to 175 for eight, taking crucial wickets.
Bairstow’s explosive innings saw him launch sixes and fours, but he fell victim to Santner’s guile when attempting another big shot. Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, and Mark Chapman led New Zealand’s successful chase, steering them to a comfortable win with almost three overs to spare.
Bairstow had to hand over the wicket-keeping gloves due to a shoulder injury, a precautionary move by England ahead of the upcoming World Cup defense.
Bairstow’s performance in Nottingham echoed his previous heroics against the same opposition. He looked set for a three-format century, but his departure paved the way for Harry Brook and Dawid Malan. Brook briefly accelerated the scoring, but both he and Malan couldn’t maintain the momentum.
New Zealand’s spinners played a crucial role, with combined figures of six for 68, keeping England in check throughout the innings. Rehan Ahmed, making his England debut, contributed with a critical breakthrough by orchestrating a brilliant run-out.
Tim Seifert and Glenn Phillips continued to trouble England’s bowlers, with Phillips being the most consistent performer in the series. Ahmed claimed Phillips’ wicket, but the damage was already done. New Zealand comfortably reached the target, securing a series-levelling win with 16 balls to spare.
The series now stands at 2-2, and the ODI leg awaits, with England looking to bounce back with a full-strength squad in the upcoming matches.