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England- New Zealand Series

New Zealand overcome Bairstow blitz to level England T20 series



Photo: Courtesy

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Mitchell Santner starred with the ball before Tim Seifert led the way with the bat as New Zealand beat England by six wickets at Trent Bridge on Tuesday to end a four-match Twenty20 series all square at 2-2.

When Jonny Bairstow was making a quickfire 73, to give the Black Caps a reminder of his stunning Test century against them in Nottingham last year, it appeared T20 world champions England were destined for a huge total.

But, with England white-ball captain Jos Buttler officially rested from the game -- New Zealand took four wickets for 35 runs, with left-arm spinner Santner returning fine figures of 3-30.

England's total of 175-8 was put into context by New Zealand's chase, with Seifert making 48 and the in-form Glenn Phillips 42 before Mark Chapman's unbeaten 40 saw the tourists to a comfortable win with 16 balls left.

The first two matches of the series witnessed two dominant England wins, by seven wickets and 95 runs, before New Zealand hit back with an equally emphatic 74-run success at Edgbaston on Sunday.

England were 105-1 off 11 overs after stand-in skipper Moeen Ali won the toss.

But Santner led New Zealand's fightback in the field with a haul that included the prize scalp of Bairstow in an innings where the next highest score was the 26 made by both Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone.

Bairstow dominated the powerplay with three legside sixes, pacemen Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson the bowlers to suffer.

But his assault ended when he failed to clear long-on after lofting Santner down the ground. 

Ish Sodhi, another of New Zealand's spinners, induced ring star Harry Brook -- left out 50-over world champions England's provisional squad for their title defence in India starting next month -- to hole out for four before Santner removed both Malan and Moeen in the 16th over.

Henry then had Livingstone caught off the last ball of the innings.

Bairstow suffered a shoulder injury while batting with the result that regular white-ball keeper Buttler was drafted in as emergency cover behind the stumps.

Teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed took 2-27 after Finn Allen launched New Zealand's reply with a first-ball four off Sam Curran.

Seifert hammered Brydon Carse and Luke Wood for sixes before he was caught and bowled by a leaping Ahmed, who also dismissed Phillips.

But Chapman made sure of New Zealand's victory.