England won by 10 runs to book their place in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals in a rain- shortened match at Cardiff against New Zealand.
The three lions captain Alistair Cook was the top scorer with 64 off 47 balls as England fell apart at the end of their innings from 141-3 to 169-all out in a match reduced to 24-overs per side due to heavy downpour earlier in the day.
Despite being without Graeme Swann the English bowling attack did well at the SWALEC stadium to restrict their opponents to 159-8 as Kane Williamson scored a strong 67.
After rain through the morning, play eventually started at 3.45pm and Ian Bell fell in the second over slapping the ball straight to short extra over off Mitchell McClenaghan the tournaments leading wicket-taker.
In the next over Kyle Mills sent Jonathon Trott back to the pavilion for 8 leaving England 25-2. When Joe Root joined Cook in a stand 75 the run-rate soon picked up giving England a chance to post a strong total.
Cook in total was dropped three times all of the chances were put down by Nathan McCullum. For the very first time in an ODI innings the England skipper cleared the rope twice and he doesn’t play Twenty20 but on this occasion he showed his quick scoring ability by scoring a handy 64.
Root was looking very busy at the crease as usual by using his wrists to find the gaps in the field and he provided one maximum pulling Daniel Vettori straight over deep midwicket. When England reached 100 inside the 14th over, McClenaghan struck again as Luke Ronchi took a catch off a Root pull shot gone all wrong.
Eoin Morgan made a run a-ball 15 hitting one over the top, and Cook fell when Nathan McCullum took a return catch off his own bowling. In the 20th over England lost their fifth wicket and were bowled out before the allocation of the 24 overs reaching 169 courtesy of Jos Buttler’s two late boundaries.
The New Zealand seamers bowled some tight overs at the death of the England innings with Mills (4-30) and McClenaghan (3-36) taking the pick of the figures.
England opening bowling pair soon made the chase look even more daunting for the Kiwis’, James Anderson in his early three-over spell bowled with testing pace and movement Ronchi could only skew the ball down to third man and Martin Guptill ran the ball back onto his own stumps leaving the score 14-2.
Some superb bowling and fielding from England helped them claim three more wickets, Taylor (3) pinned lbw by Tim Bresnan, Ravi Bopara (2-26) removed Brendon McCullum (8) and James Franklin for 6 as the batting line-up was left reeling on 62-5 after 14 overs.
Williamson tried his best to keep the chase alive, hitting eight boundaries and one six off Stuart Broad and debutant Corey Anderson (30 from 24 balls) impressed with his huge hitting potential but the sixth wicket stand of 73 was in a losing cause.
Anderson (3-32) picked up the final wicket of the innings dismissing Nathan McCullum as New Zealand fell short by 10 runs finishing on 159-8.
England are through to the semi-finals where they will face India or South Africa and New Zealand on the other hand are relying on Australia to beat Sri Lanka in the final Group B game on Monday.