Jonny Bairstow’s second successive hundred laid the foundation for England’s 119-run thrashing of New Zealand that saw the tournament hosts secure their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Wednesday. It is the first time England have reached this stage since 1992, when they made the last of their three losing appearances in the final. England, yet to win the World Cup, were set for a huge score at 194-1 off 30 overs before managing just 111 in the last 20 against a New Zealand attack missing injured fast bowler Lockie Ferguson. But, Bairstow making 106, a total of 305-8 proved more than enough at Chester-le-Street.
New Zealand could only manage 186 in reply as they suffered a third successive defeat of the tournament following losses to Pakistan and champions Australia — the team that beat them in the 2015 final.
One consolation for the Black Caps is that they should still join Australia, India and England in the last four as it will take a colossal change in net run-rate for Pakistan to overtake them even if Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side beat Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday.
“I am really pleased,” said man-of-the-match Bairstow. “We knew these two games were must-win to give ourselves the best opportunity of reaching the semi-final.