New Zealand pacer Blair Tickner celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket against touring England during the third T20I on Tuesday in Nelson. -AFP
England collapsed to a 14-run defeat in the third Twenty20 in Nelson as New Zealand took a 2-1 series lead.Chasing 181, England were 139-2 with 31 balls remaining and seemingly cruising towards victory before they lost 5-10 in 18 balls. Colin de Grandhomme made 55 in New Zealand's 180-7, with Tom Curran taking 2-29 and Matt Parkinson 1-14 on debut.
The fourth game of the five-match series is in Napier at 05:00 GMT on Friday. With England looking set for victory, captain Eoin Morgan was caught at deep mid-wicket off the final ball of the 14th over. Sam Billings was then run out second ball by a brilliant piece of fielding from Colin Munro before James Vince picked out mid-off to fall for 49.
Lockie Ferguson dismissed Lewis Gregory and Sam Curran in the 18th over and England never recovered. England's chase started perfectly as Tom Banton, on debut, and Dawid Malan took 25 off the first two overs.Banton played a glorious off-drive before lofting Ferguson over mid-wicket for a mighty six.
The 20-year-old Somerset opener was soon bowled, attempting to ramp, but his 10-ball 18 was a glimpse of his undeniable talent.Malan batted beautifully for a 34-ball 55. He was strong all round the wicket, with a number of superb cover drives, before he clothed a filthy full toss from Ish Sodhi to Martin Guptill at deep mid-wicket.
Malan's dismissal gave Vince impetus as he was struggling at less than a run a ball before three fours and a six in four balls kick-started his innings and England's chase. They looked to be cruising towards their target after partnerships of 63 and 49 respectively between Malan and Vince, and then Vince and Morgan. However, the collapse that followed ended England's hopes of taking a series lead.
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