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Black Caps' bowlers hold nerve to give NZ victory over England

The Black Caps have taken a 2-1 lead in their five-match T20 International series against England, earning a 14-run victory at Saxton Oval, Nelson.

With Tim Southee winning the toss and opting to bat first, Martin Guptill got the Black Caps off to the perfect start, hitting a quickfire 33 from 17 balls before falling to Pat Brown.

Two more quick wickets sent Colin Munro (six from eight) and Tim Seifert (seven from 12) back to the pavilion, leaving the hosts struggling at 69/3.

Seifert's dismissal saw the pair of Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor combine at the crease, adding a quickfire stand of 66 runs. 

Playing as a specialist batsman, de Grandhomme thrived with the added responsibility awarded to him, reaching a half century from 27 balls, with five fours and three sixes, eventually dismissed for 55 from 35.

At the other end, handy contributions from Taylor (27), Jimmy Neesham (20) and Mitchell Santner (15) lifted the Black Caps to 180/7 from their 20 overs.

In response, England's faith in 20-year-old debutant Tom Banton appeared to be justified, with the youngster racing to an attractive 18, before losing his stumps attempting to hit Blair Tickner over the keeper.

The pair of Dawid Malan and James Vince would appear to give England the advantage, adding 63 for the second wicket - Malan reaching a 50 of his own off 29 balls.

However, Malan's dismissal for 55 - hitting an Ish Sodhi full toss to Guptill in the deep, saw England wobble.

Captain Eoin Morgan would have some success against Mitchell Santner, hitting two sixes in the left-arm spinner's final over, before also picking out the man in the deep, Colin Munro taking the catch.

Munro was in the action the very next over, running out Sam Billings, attempting to take a quick single, sent back by Vince.

Looming as the key, Vince would fall for 49 with England's chase in trouble, lofting Tickner straight to Tim Southee on the edge of the circle. That dismissal saw a colossal collapse from England, losing both Sam Curran and Lewis Gregory in one Lockie Ferguson over.

Ultimately, England were left with too much to do, needing 19 runs from the final over, bowled by Southee. They would only manage four, though - Tom Curran left unbeaten on 14 as the Black Caps took victory.

The win sees the Black Caps lead the series 2-1, with both sides now heading for Napier, where the fourth match will be played on Friday.


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