In the fourth T20 clash at Trent Bridge, England faced a convincing defeat at the hands of New Zealand, losing by six wickets. This outcome marked a comeback for the Black Caps, resulting in a series draw of 2-2.
The tourists maintained a steady pace throughout their pursuit of England’s target of 176, successfully completing the chase with 16 balls to spare. Opener Tim Seifert set the stage with a brisk 48 off 32 balls, while Glenn Phillips contributed 42 from 25 deliveries. The only bowler able to slow down New Zealand’s run rate was 19-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, who claimed two crucial wickets while conceding 27 runs.
England initially enjoyed a rapid start, thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s explosive 73 off 41 balls. However, their momentum waned, and they could only manage a total of 175-8 after being at 63-0 after six overs. Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone failed to accelerate the scoring, posting 26 runs each. Harry Brook, hoping to strengthen his World Cup selection prospects, was dismissed for just four runs.
With the World Cup looming a month away, Bairstow’s absence from the field due to right shoulder pain added to England’s concerns. The teams will now shift their focus to the upcoming one-day internationals in Cardiff, with England’s preparation for their 50-over title defense intensifying. This four-match T20 series started with two commanding England victories, but New Zealand’s dominant wins in the last two matches squared the series. England’s final score seemed below par for a small ground, with New Zealand’s spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi playing pivotal roles, taking three wickets each.
In contrast, England’s Adil Rashid faced a tough challenge, conceding boundaries to Seifert. Ahmed, on the other hand, performed admirably, accounting for Seifert and Phillips. New Zealand’s batsmen managed the short boundary effectively, while England’s seamers, along with Rashid and Moeen Ali, struggled to contain them.
Bairstow’s injury led to captain Jos Buttler taking over the gloves, and he will be hoping for improved performance in the upcoming ODI series, with Joe Root and Ben Stokes set to return. When Bairstow was smashing boundaries, England appeared on track to reach the 200-run mark. However, New Zealand’s spinners slowed down the scoring, and England’s seamers made a comeback with better control.
Will Jacks had another chance as an opener but was dismissed for 15, while Bairstow was caught at long-on in the 12th over. Harry Brook joined Malan in the middle but struggled, eventually skying a catch off Sodhi to deep square leg. Malan, despite hitting four fours, couldn’t accelerate and was caught on the leg-side boundary. Moeen Ali and Sam Curran also fell cheaply, and Livingstone managed just two boundaries towards the end. New Zealand impressively restricted England to 38 runs in the final five overs, with Tim Southee and Matt Henry making significant contributions.