St.Lucia: England cemented a berth in the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 Championship by defeating New Zealand by three wickets in their final game of the Super Eight stage of the tournament here.
England registered their third consecutive win in as many matches in the super eight stage as they chased down a modest target of 150 set by New Zealand with three wickets and five balls to spare.
English openers started with a bang racing to 57 for one at the end of the powerplay overs. Both Craig Kieswetter (15 runs of 12 balls) and Michael Lumb (32 runs of 21 balls) provided a solid base for the middle order.
Lumb took a liking for the extra pace of Shane Bond, hitting 19 runs off his first two overs.
However, there was a little hiccup in the middle when Scott Styris cleaned up both Ravi Bopara, who replaced in-form Kevin Pietersen, and skipper Paul Collingwood cheaply.
But Eion Morgan (40) and Luke Wright (24) added 52 in 38 balls to push the Kiwis out of the tournament.
For New Zealand, Bond and Styris grabbed two wickets each, while Neil McCullum, Kyle Mills and skipper Daniel Vettori took a wicket each.
Earlier, the England bowlers restricted the Black Caps to 149 for 6. Tim Bresnan was the most economical bowler with figures of one for 29 in four overs. Bresnan’s 23 not out of 11 balls was probably the icing on the cake for him and his side.
Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad were also among the wicket takers, as both grabbed two each.
Ross Taylor top scored for the Kiwis with 44 of 33 balls, while Brendon McCullum and Styris made 33 and 31 respectively.