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England snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with another batting collapse sealing 14-run T20 defeat to New Zealand

ENGLAND contrived to chuck away a near-certain victory with a big panic in their third Twenty20 match against New Zealand.

Eoin Morgans team appeared to be cruising to victory and needed just 44 runs from 34 balls with eight wickets in hand.

Morgan hit two sixes in his quickfire 18
Colin de Grandhomme starred with 55 in New Zealand’s 18 overs

At that point, England were ranked more than 90 per cent likely to win.

But then Morgan himself was dismissed and the rest of the batting succumbed with alarming speed.

In the end, England lost by 14 runs and now the Kiwis lead the series 2-1 with two matches to play.

Englands team is full of inexperienced players but they must learn quickly at this level if they are to put any pressure on the big-name players who are resting.

Dawid Malan made an aggressive half-century from 29 balls and James Vince contributed 49 from 39 deliveries after being bogged down at the start of his innings.

Morgan hoisted a couple of sixes but his departure sparked Englands demise.

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Somersets Tom Banton unleashed a couple of powerful shots on his debut but was then bowled attempted a ramp shot.

In fact, England played all the young players in their squad – with mixed success.

Tom Banton made 18 off 10 on debut before being bowled
New Zealand took five wickets for 10 runs to skittle the tourists
The hosts lead the series 2-1 after the Saxton Oval win

Lancashire speedster Saqib Mahmood received plenty of punishment but his county colleague Matt Parkinson sent down two overs of respectable wrist-spin, including the wicket of Tom Seifert with his fifth ball in international cricket.

Banton and Parkinson received their caps before the game from former England captain Nasser Hussain.

At least Englands fielding was better than in the previous match in Christchurch and Tom Curran ran and brilliantly held onto a skier offered by Blackcaps opener Martin Guptill.

Colin de Grandhomme made a muscular half-century for the home team and there were couple of flurries down the order as New Zealand reached 180-7 from 20 overs.

But the pitch was good at the picturesque Saxton Park ground, which is overlooked by a mountain, and England were soon on track.

Banton promised for a while and Malan took his tally to five half-centuries in eight T20 internationals before he whacked a full toss to deep mid-wicket.

Morgan was caught at cow corner, Sam Billings was run out and Vince drove to mid-off. Englands run chase was suddenly in disarray and it was too much to expect the lower-order to retrieve the situation.

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Morgan said: Its great that were having such a competition series and integrating so many young players into the squad. It is a good learning curve for them.

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