England have reached the semi-finals of the 2013 Champions Trophy, shrugging off all the uncertainties and reservations and leaving the New Zealand’s fate hang in balance as the Black Caps will now have to wait for the outcome of Australia-Sri Lanka match.

[caption id="attachment_1675" align="alignright" width="300"]Cook’s 64 off 47 played a key role in England’s victory over the Black Caps (Photo: Getty Images) Cook’s 64 off 47 played a key role in England’s victory over the Black Caps (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

The hosts were facing many an issue before the win. On the one hand, they were at risk of being ruled out of the tournament after beaten by Sri Lanka, and on the other, they were under immense pressure in the wake of ball-tampering claims by former English captain Bob Willis. But the thick clouds hovering over the Cardiff were the bigger threat, because if they had lingered on and the match had been abandoned, England would have been done for.

It was pouring with rain so heavily that the match had to start five hours late and when it began, each team had 24 overs at their disposal. Batsmen of both teams played to the full in a last-ditch attempt to win a place for their sides  in the semi-finals. After New Zealand won the toss and put England into bat, it was Alastair Cook who laid the foundations of a good total, special thanks to Nathan McCullum for dropping the English captain’s catches thrice when he was on 14, 37 and 45. However, he was McCullum who finally ended Cook’s innings, but it was too late then – the damage had been done. The Kiwis tried to come back in the match, taking England’s last seven wickets on just 28 runs. England lost their fourth wicket when Cook departed on 141. And by the time they reached 169, the whole team was finished. Eoin Morgan fell prey to Daniel Vettori followed by Jos Buttler losing his wicket at the hands of Kyle Mills. Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan were dismissed in the 23rd over, while in the next and the last over of the match, Mills stuck again and sent packing Stuart Broad and James Tredwell.

It was good but belated show of brilliance by the New Zealand bowlers. They took too much time and gave too many runs for the initial four wickets, and paid the price. Cook’s 64 off 47 and Root’s 38 off 40 proved decisive.

Kyle Mills took four while Mitchell McClenaghan took three wickets. Vettori and Nathan took one wicket apiece.

New Zealand could not stand James Anderson’s attack. Both of New Zealand’s openers – Luke Ronchi and Martin Guptill – were back to the pavilion by the fourth over, and when the team reached 14 overs, half of their team was dismissed on just 62.

[caption id="attachment_1676" align="alignright" width="300"]New Zealand lost the match despite Kane Williamson fireworks (Photo: Getty Images) New Zealand lost the match despite Kane Williamson fireworks (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

Kane Williamson shared a bit more than his bit at the stage, supported by debutant Corey Anderson and together they made 73 runs at the sixth wicket. The partnership was now growing bigger and becoming a threat to England’s win and they desperately needed a wicket. Broad earned it for his team as Anderson took Williamson’s catch to end his innings of 67 off 54, including eight fours and a six. His innings would have become fruitful for New Zealand, had he got support of a single batsman. But Williamson did not depart so simply. Field umpire referred the decision to the third umpire, suspecting that Broad had overstepped the crease. Third umpire decided it was not a no-ball and Williamson had to leave the ground. It was quite a close decision and it is safer to say that umpire Steve Davis gave the benefit of the doubt to the bowling side.

Now it was evident that the last four batsmen could not score 35 runs on 16 balls. The innings ended on 159 in 24 overs with two wickets remaining. New Zealand had lost the match by 10 runs and England had booked themselves a place for the semis.

Despite these times of despair, there’s a silver lining in the New Zealand’s story. They can still make it to the semi-finals if Australia beat Sri Lanka in the tomorrow’s match, but with a low margin. Although there are many ifs and buts, but still if…

Alastair Cook was declared man of the match and he was certainly jubilant after the triumph and thankful to his generous benefactor – Nathan McCullum.

England vs New Zealand

Champions Trophy 2013, Match 2013

June 16, 2013

Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

Result: England won by 10 runs

Man of the match: Alastair Cook

Alastair Cookc & b NL McCullum644742
Ian Bellc BB McCullum b McClenaghan10810
Jonathan Trottc NL McCullum b Mills8610
Joe Rootc Ronchi b McClenaghan384021
Eoin Morganlbw b Vettori151501
Jos Butlerc NL McCullum b Mills14920
Ravi Boparac Williamson b McClenaghan91110
Tim Bresnanrun out (Franklin)4300
Stuart Broadc NL McCullum b Mills0200
James Tredwellc McClenaghan b Mills0100
James Andersonnot out0000
Extras(leg-byes 2, wides 4, no-ball 1)7
Total(all out; 23.3 overs; 116 mins)169


New Zealand (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
Mitchell McClenaghan50363
Kyle Mills4.30304
Corey Anderson1040
Daniel Vettori50271
James Franklin20200
Nathan McCullum40301
Kane Williamson20200


نیوزی لینڈTarget: 170 runs (24 overs)RunsBalls4s6s
Martin Guptillb Anderson91210
Luke Ronchic Trott b Anderson21200
Kane Williamsonc Anderson b Broad675481
Ross Taylorlbw b Bresnan3600
Brendon McCullumc Root b Bopara81700
James Franklinc Morgan b Bopara6610
Corey Andersonc Anderson b Bresnan302421
Nathan McCullumc †Buttler b Anderson131111
Kyle Millsnot out5210
Extras(leg-byes 8, wides 8)16
Total(8 wickets; 24 overs; 127 mins)159


England (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
Stuart Broad50251
James Anderson50323
Tim Bresnan50412
Ravi Bopara50262
James Tredwell40270
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