Cardiff: England captain Eoin Morgan praised his “outstanding” bowling attack after the tournament hosts booked their place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy with an 87-run win over New Zealand here.
Yesterday’s success means England will return to the Welsh capital as Group A winners for a last four clash against the as yet unknown Group B runners-up on June 14, in an event featuring the world’s leading eight one-day international teams.
England looked to have fallen short of a par score despite making 310 all out after Joe Root (64), Alex Hales (56) and Ben Stokes (48) were all dismissed when well set before Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 61 boosted the total.
But fast bowler Mark Wood took the key wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (87) in the 31st over.
Williamson’s exit sparked a collapse that saw New Zealand lose their last eight wickets for 65 runs on the way to a total of 223 all out.
Liam Plunkett took four for 55, with his fellow paceman Jake Ball named man-of-the-match after striking early to dismiss Luke Ronchi for a duck on his way to fine figures of two for 31 in eight overs.
Meanwhile, leg-spinner Adil Rashid justified his recall in place of injured all-rounder Chris Woakes with a 10-over return of two for 47.