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Williamson, Guptill scheme third straight loss for England

Eoin Morgan News

New Zealand ended their three-match losing streak with a 12-run victory over England in a tri-nations Twenty20 cricket worldwide on Tuesday, inspired by an innings of 72 from captain Kane Williamson.

Kane Williamson has hailed New Zealand's performance in what he says was close to a "must-win" game against England in the tri-nations Twenty20 global series.

With today's 82-run partnership, the duo of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson have scored a total partnership runs of 1,129, the second most by any pair in the T20 format.

England's bowlers, especially Wood, were proving expensive, but spinner Adil Rashid took the wickets of Guptill and Colin de Grandhomme in successive deliveries to stem the flow of runs.

Alex Hales (47) gave England a quick start but things went pear-shaped once he fell to Ish Sodhi.

Sodhi, Boult and Mitchell Santner took two wickets apiece, while Southee claimed one.

At the 10-over mark, England were 90 for two, seven runs ahead of New Zealand on comparative rate, but then lost James Vince run out by Kane Williamson's direct hit from mid off. The tourists ended up 12 runs short and with their hopes of qualification for the final on Wednesday (February 21) in Auckland hanging by the flimsiest of threads.

"Obviously it was a very important win for us in the context of this series", Williamson said.

The brio has gone out of Rashid, who was fortunate to pick up his two wickets, the first with a full toss, the second with a superlative one-handed leap at long-off by Chris Jordan whose foot, when he eventually landed, was only an inch from the rope.

In their previous two defeats to Australia it was England's batting that failed them, but on this occasion, on a bouncy Wellington pitch, it was their bowling which was called into question as the Black Caps amassed 196-5.

"New Zealand's plans have worked, they won the game".

England captain Buttler said: "It was maybe ten to 15 runs too many. and we didn't bowl as well as we could have".

"We had to play good cricket today".

"England played Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood and said, "we're going to hit you with pace", he said.

"They put us under pressure and we tried to find way to break that partnership".

"I just want to contribute as much as I can to the team whenever I go out, so that is my focus". We did not get the cameos in the middle either. "[Need a favour from Australia?] That's what we need now, so we'll wait and see what happens".