Champions Trophy: Plunkett, Ball star in England’s comprehensive win over Black Caps

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Cardiff: Brilliant bowling performances from Pacers Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball helped England register an emphatic 87-run victory over New Zealand in their second Group A match of the Champions Trophy at Sophia Gardens, here on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 311, the Black Caps were bundled out for 223 runs in just 44.3 overs. None of the Kiwi batters, expect skipper Kane Williamson, could stay long at the crease.

After two wickets falling early, Williamson (87 off 98, 8 fours), along with experienced Ross Taylor (39 off 59, 3 fours) did put their side under control of the run chase. In fact, they looked all set to chase down the target with 158-2 after 30 overs.

But then the English seamers started to make use of the pitch. And once the New Zealand skipper and Taylor got out, things just started to fall apart for the Black Caps and they eventually got bowled out.

For England, Plunkett was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with figures of 4-55 besides Man-of-the-Match Ball who gave away just 31 runs in the eight overs he bowled and picked up two wickets.

Spinner Adil Rashid, who came into the side as Chris Woakes’ replacement also came out with a good bowling performance and picked two crucial wickets apart from drying the runs for the New Zealand batters.

Earlier, put into bat, the Eoin Morgan-led side posted a decent total of 310, courtesy some blistering half-centuries from Alex Hales (56), Joe Root (64) and Jos Buttler (61). All-rounder Ben Stokes also played a useful hand of 48 to help his side cross the 300 mark.

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