The T20 series between England and New Zealand comes to a close on Tuesday evening when the two teams head to Trent Bridge for the fourth match where the series outcome is very much on the line at the Nottingham venue.
England head into the final match of what has been a very entertaining series with a 2-1 advantage and will win it if they come out on top here. New Zealand know that they have to win if they are going to come out with a shared series heading into the ODIs.
England have already passed up one chance to win the series so they will be eager to make the most of the second opportunity that they earned themselves by dominating the opening two matches. The series if anything was far too easy in the early stages but now that New Zealand have shown up to the party it will be interesting to see how England go here with a little more pressure on their shoulders. They are the world champions in this format and need to play like it here.
The undoing of them in that third game was their batting which just didn’t get going at all. Admittedly they were facing a daunting score but it certainly wasn’t one that England couldn’t chase down had they got going from the start. They were taken to the cleaners with the ball in hand and that might disappoint them the most because there is an argument that the attack they used at Edgbaston was their strongest one of the series to date.
It had looked like New Zealand were a busted flush in the early parts of this series. Their first two performances in it were absolutely horrendous but they came good when it really mattered and will be looking to follow up their win at Edgbaston with another here at Trent Bridge to come away with a shared series heading into an ODI series which is likely to carry a lot more weight and importance given that these two will open up the World Cup in just under five weeks.
New Zealand finally came good with the bat at Edgbaston. Prior to that it was just Glenn Phillips who looked like he was at the required level but we saw the best of Finn Allen in Birmingham too and that pair will hope they have inspired the rest to bring their best effort to the party. We also saw the best of New Zealand with the ball in that game. Whether they are now up to the level required or they had the requisite scoreboard pressure on their side we might only find out here.
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Ben Duckett and Rehan Ahmed are still waiting for their turns in this series but with this being a competitive match they might end up carrying the drinks throughout it all. Ahmed could be a contender to come in on a baking hot day though.
New Zealand have no need to change the team who won so authoritatively at Edgbaston. That means that Rachin Ravindra and Cole McConchie will have to wait for other opportunities for their chance to shine.
The ball has flown to all parts in the last two first innings in this series and now we head to the highest scoring ground in the country for what has all the makings of being another high scoring, boundary filled match now that both teams have started to contribute with the bat. We’ve seen in The Hundred recently and we have seen it when international matches have been played here regularly how good the pitches are and how accessible the boundaries are.
With that in mind, I’m very surprised that the boundary count for this one sits as low as 42.5. England clobbered 28 boundaries in the first innings at Old Trafford while New Zealand hit 24 in their first innings at Edgbaston and now on a smaller ground where both teams should be contributing with the bat I see no reason why the boundaries won’t flow. Both these sides bat deep and neither have anything like a first choice attack on show. The over should land here.
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