ENGLAND’S T20 World Cup dream is still alive after a nail-biting win over New Zealand.
Jos Buttler plundered 73 off 47 but a late collapse saw his side finish on 179-6 from their 20 overs.
Ben Stokes played his part in the crucial win
Sam Curran took two wickets on the way to victory
Sam Curran and Chris Woakes removed New Zealand openers Finn Allen and Devon Conway early but Kane Williamson and Glenn Phillips led the fightback for the Black Caps – helped by some poor fielding.
But New Zealand were always behind their nine-per-over run rate required.
And some clutch death bowling, especially by Curran, limited the opposition to 159-6 and ensured a much-needed win in Brisbane.
The Surrey star said: “I think it was a really important game, we knew it was going to be close because New Zealand are a really good side.
“We chose to bat first and I think the guys batted beautifully. Jos and Hales at the top and then the other guys chipped in.
“It felt like we hadn’t played in a while because of all the rain and travel – but what a great win against a New Zealand playing well.
“Now we travel to Sydney for another must-win game against Sri Lanka.”
Curran added: “It was a weird game at the start because we haven’t played in so long but once we got into it, the fans were amazing and all that stuff gets you going again. Now we’ll be really confident for Saturday.
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“Tonight was a pitch that maybe suited the spinners a bit more and I felt my variations could come in handy.
“We used the dimensions really well, particularly when Glenn Phillips was going really well.
“We knew it was going to be close, to win by 20 runs is great and helps the net run rate, which we know is going to be a factor.”
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Buttler found his range to top-score on 73
Kane Williamson claimed to have caught Buttler but had dropped the ball
Liam Livingstone was bowled trying to scoop one over the wicket-keeper
Mitchell Santner tried everything to take this catch on the boundary
Curran celebrates the wicket of James Neesham at The Gabba
England know they still need to beat Sri Lanka on Saturday