Cricket World Cup: England reach semi-finals with 119-run win over New Zealand thanks to Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow celebrates another century for England in the Cricket World Cup
Jonny Bairstow celebrates another century for England in the Cricket World Cup

England have reached the World Cup semi-finals after beating New Zealand by 119 runs at Chester-le-Street.

England win by 119 runs

England 305/8: Bairstow 106, Roy 60; Neesham 2-41

New Zealand 186: Latham 57; Wood 3-34


Match report

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.

If his previous effort against India was an emotionally-charged response to his minor spat with Michael Vaughan, the follow-up deserves to be remembered for nothing other than its sporting brilliance - 106 runs, 14 boundaries, one six and a thoroughly decisive contribution.

It has become increasingly apparent that his opening partnership with the fit-again Jason Roy (60) represents England's ace in the hole, with the duo scoring their third consecutive three-figure stand and forging an advantage the Black Caps never wrestled back.

Things stalled once they exited, England reaching 194 for one from 30 overs and losing seven for 111 thereafter - but New Zealand's reply never threatened and they were brushed aside for 186.

Dangerman Kane Williamson was run out backing up via the tiniest of touches off Mark Wood's outstretched hand, with the seamer also helping himself to three for 34.

Reaction

Eoin Morgan on leading England to their first last-four appearance in the tournament since 1992: "It's pretty cool, pretty awesome. The way in which we played is more satisfying than the actual win.

"I suppose we have rode the roller coaster of playing well, playing terrible and playing good again. If we had lost, it would have been drawn out for the next couple of days, so it wasn't really worth thinking about.

"I think we do tap into what we have achieved the last two games. It's been extremely important to our campaign.

"It is obviously the reason that we have got through and we have been able to play some of our best cricket because of that.

"So tapping into that, identifying what we did well and if that still remains the same priority going into the semi-final, which I think it will."

Jonny Bairstow admitted England had not been "up to scratch" before their back-to-back wins against India and New Zealand.

The opening batsman, who followed up his 111 against India with a supreme 106 from 99 balls, told Sky Sports: "Obviously we knew that these two games were the must-win games if we were to give ourselves the best opportunity to get into the semi-finals because we knew that the performances that we'd put in for a couple of games hadn't been quite up to scratch.

"To play the way that we have done in the last two games now (going) into the semis is pleasing."

On whether batting first had an impact, the Yorkshire batsman replied: "With the toss of the coin it can happen either way and you've just got to react to what's put in front of you.

"On a different day we could have been bowling first and taken a couple of early wickets and you never know what could have happened."

When asked about his success opening the batting with Roy, Bairstow said: "I think that obviously batting together for a period of time helps, you understand each other's games and each other's moods in a way.

"You get a feel for certain bowlers on certain pitches and the communication out in the middle is the key with your partner whether it be Jason or Rooty (Joe Root) or whoever it might be."

On New Zealand he added: "We knew it was a must-win game and they've put in some good performances in the competition.

"They're a class side so we needed to put in a performance today and we got over the line and we're really, really pleased to do that after what has been a tough few weeks."

Kane Williamson said his New Zealand side need to learn from their last few performances as they hope to secure the last semi-final spot.

The Black Caps captain told Sky Sports: "From our perspective, the recipe is simple but not easy and that's to go out and play a better brand of cricket, one that allows us to be a lot more competitive than we have done in the last few games.

"Saying that, there are a lot of variables in these games as we've seen and the margins on the scoreboard look big but for us it's important we look at it for what it is - but definitely we need to learn from it, to be better moving forward hopefully.

"I think they (England) did get the best of the conditions but they were the better team and they outplayed us and deserved the win without a doubt and the conditions didn't decide the result.

"But at the same time I think the conditions changed a lot after the first 20 overs."

On whether New Zealand fancied their chances at the break, Williamson said: "Without a doubt. Obviously it was nice to be able to pull it back. The way the surface changed allowed us to do that.

"We were under a lot of pressure in the first half of that innings, but we knew - going into the second half - that we needed to build partnerships and do that for long periods to take the game deep and we weren't able to do that.

"Once again we sort of haven't quite flowed with our batting just yet and there's been a number of variables that have perhaps not allowed that, but it's about trying to be smart with our cricket.

"Today obviously, with a couple of run outs and one down the leg side, it's not a great way to start that."

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