World Cup 2019: Bairstow, Wood power England into semifinals

Jonny Bairstow hammered a century and Mark Wood took three as England beat New Zealand by 119 runs to storm into the semifinals of World Cup 2019.

Mark Wood celebrates after taking out James Neesham.   -  AP Photo

Jonny Bairstow hammered his second successive century as England beat New Zealand by 119 runs to storm into the semifinals of World Cup 2019.

At the picturesque Riverside ground on Wednesday, Bairstow’s gritty knock of 106 guided England to 305-8. Coming out for the chase, two crucial run-outs of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, cost the Kiwis as it folded up for 186 in 45 overs.

Despite the defeat, New Zealand still stands a chance of reaching the semifinals. However, Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the last-four dimmed further.

On a surface that had very little for the bowlers, New Zealand had a jittery start as it lost its openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls for just 14 runs.

Scorecard | As it happened

Although Williamson and Taylor tried steadying the innings, a freak run out of the Kiwi captain in the 15th over dented New Zealand’s run-chase. Mark Wood got a slight touch on Ross Taylor’s straight drive on his follow-through, and Williamson, at the non-striker’s end, had to depart. In the next over, Taylor too was run out by Adil Rashid.

Those two dismissals tilted the game England’s way, even after Tom Latham's 57. It turned out to be a memorable day for local boy Wood, who finished with figures of 3 for 34.

Earlier, Bairstow started off fluently, helping England reach the 100-run mark in the 15th over. England carried the momentum and was 194-1 at the 30th over mark. Backed by the crowd, Bairstow and his in-form opening partner, Jason Roy, put together 123 runs before the Kiwi bowlers found back their rhythm to pull back things.

World Cup 2019 semifinals qualification scenario

With Bairstow focused on keeping the scoreboard ticking, Roy played his shots and crafted a 61-ball 60,  which was studded with eight boundaries.

Returning to the side for the India game — following a hamstring injury — Roy suffered a bruise on his forearm while fielding in that match. There were concerns ahead of the New Zealand clash. But the 28-year-old put all speculations to rest and played another blistering knock, before being dismissed by James Neesham.

But with Bairstow around, England could dream on for a competitive total on the board. He stitched a 69-run partnership with Joe Root, before Trent Boult removed the latter. Root had an unsuccessful review after being caught behind trying to pull a bouncer.

Read: Ghost of 1992 not repeating for Pakistan

Bairstow too was cleaned up soon by Matt Henry for 106 — who had come in for injured Lockie Ferguson. England slipped further as wickets tumbled at regular intervals. Even though captain Eoin Morgan tried building partnerships, his efforts failed as Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes failed to get going.

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