Jonny Bairstow’s impressive batting display to no avail as England lose

A one-man batting show from Jonny Bairstow wasn’t enough for England as New Zealand secured a six-wicket win at Trent Bridge to equalize the T20 series 2-2.

England captain Jos Buttler took a break for the decider and would have been pleased with what he saw as Bairstow hit 73 balls from 41 at the top of the standings, with six sixes and five fours to his credit.

That brought back memories of his victorious Test Century against the same opponents on the same ground last summer, but after ebbing through in game 12 against England he ran out of strength and they slowed down to 175 for eight.

Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone both made 26, but neither was entirely fluid as the Black Caps regained control with their spin quota sharing six wickets.

Meanwhile, Harry Brook, whose hopes of making England’s World Cup squad put both Malan and Livingstone at risk, managed just four goals.

After finishing England’s innings five to 38 in the last five overs, New Zealand cheered for the side and made a commanding pursuit to complete their comeback from a 2-0 deficit, with Buttler making an unexpected comeback behind the Stumps graduated after Bairstow reported a breakdown.

Tim Seifert (48), Glenn Phillips (42) and Mark Chapman (40 nos) defeated England, who couldn’t control the limit count.

The home team’s bowling attack of choice was 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed, who made his debut on home soil after his meteoric rise in winter.

He was sharp and frugal two-for-27 in his four-over squad and also completed a run out, a timely reminder of his promise, nearly six months since his last England appearance.

The real business begins now, with an ODI series getting underway in Cardiff on Friday, serving as a final warm-up for next month’s World Cup in India.

But England, whose evening ended with 16 balls not bowled because Luke Wood missed to give the winning runs, need to improve.

Bairstow started in electrifying form as he swung out of the game and practically turned his opening partner Will Jacks into a spectator.

The Yorkshireman, who prefers legside, hit Matt Henry with a six over the midwicket and then greeted Kyle Jamieson by throwing him twice over the ropes. When Tim Southee tried to gain some control with an increased length, he was overwhelmed.

Jacks, who later drafted Ish Sodhi for 16 to complete a quiet streak, was limited to rotating the strike as his partner scored 43 of the first 50 runs.

Never has an England batsman reached half a century on the six-over power play, but Bairstow came within two runs of the feat, and all at a flamboyant batting average of exactly 200.

With Jacks gone, Bairstow continued the show and increased the English hundred by stepping back and taking a drag down from Mitchell Santner for his sixth six. By the next ball he was gone, waiting for another big hit to the ground, but he had left an impressive platform.

England never regained their confidence.

Brook chipped his hands at a modest Sodhi charge, ending an eight-ball stay that did not advance his World Cup claim further, and Malan failed to convince before both he and reserve captain Moeen Ali scored in the 16th round of Santner were caught.

Livingstone and Ahmed both came off the ropes before the end, but after Bairstow’s explosive start, the end was largely tame.

England knew there was going to be a match from the first ball of reply when Finn Allen fired Sam Curran wide in the middle to set the ball straight.

Allen grabbed two more as he set the tone for the chase but lost his off stump to Wood as he shuffled across his goal line.

With that, Seifert had to take the baton, beating Brydon Carse and Wood for sixes.

An early attack on Adil Rashid cost England 15 and as the field fell back New Zealand were 73 to 1 10 ahead of England’s power play mark.

The goal quickly looked a lot closer than it had been at the break, but a double breakthrough soon restored balance.

Daryl Mitchell was knocked out in the seventh over, Wood with a dynamic pick-up and throw that allowed Ahmed to get balls at the bowler’s end.

The youngster then grabbed one for himself, cutting out Seifert with a clever catch and bowling for 48 and throwing his first scalp on English soil.

Ahmed embodied composure as he seized the opportunity and emerged from it with enhanced standing as he turned heads at the hard-hitting Phillips, who saw off Rashid.

However, England never managed to come out on top as Chapman defeated them in the 18th half.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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