England v New Zealand: second T20 cricket international – live | Twenty20

England v New Zealand: second T20 cricket international – live | Twenty20


Key events


10th over: England 76-2 (Bairstow 39, Brook 17) Erm, Harry Brook might well be a genius. He has just driven Sodhi for successive inside-out sixes, both shots of outrageous skill, intent and certainty. Sod it, I can’t resist a statgasm. Since England announced their World Cup squad, Brook has scored 211 runs from 111 balls with an average of 105.5 and a strike-rate of 190.

I still don’t know how you get him in the World Cup squad, never mind the team, but I wish they could.


9th over: England 60-2 (Bairstow 37, Brook 4) Bairstow crashes Santner through extra cover for four, then monsters a slogsweep into the crowd. He mistimed a couple of shots, duped by Santner’s mischievous changes of pace, but those boundaries make it England’s best over in a while.

8th over: England 48-2 (Bairstow 26, Brook 3) Ish Sodhi, playing his 100th T20 international, comes on. Never mind 140; a score of 120 might be enough if dew isn’t a factor when England bowl. Brook survives an LBW appeal – missing leg – and then drives one to long-on. That’s the first of four singles in the over. England are 9/2 in the last three overs.

7th over: England 44-2 (Bairstow 24, Brook 1) I was going to introduce Harry Brook with a statgasm or two, but after Dawid Malan’s innings I think I’ll refrain. He gets off the mark with a push down the ground for a single. Batting looks pretty awkward out there.

WICKET! England 43-2 (Malan b Santner 0)

Malan goes for 0 from 4 balls, and he missed the lot of them. Santner – who’d already had a stumping review against Bairstow earlier in the over – slowed it down to beat Malan’s attempted slap on the inside and hit the top of middle stump.

Dawid Malan loses his wicket
That’s a huge swing and a miss from Dawid Malan. Out for a duck. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

6th over: England 40-1 (Bairstow 21, Malan 0) Dawid Malan has the highest T20 average in England men’s history (min: 10 innings). More improtantly, his average of 50.45 when England win is second only to Kevin Peter Pietersen.

As I research and type the above, Malan is beaten outside off stump by each of his first three deliveries from Southee. Hard to be sure but the early impressions are that 140 would be a competitive score.

WICKET! England 40-1 (Jacks c Chapman b Southee 19)

At one end or another, a wicket was coming. Jacks clunks a pull to mid-on to end a scruffy if useful innings of 19 from 11 balls, and here comes Dawid Malan.

Will Jacks is gone for a quick 19 runs. In comes Dawid Malan.
Will Jacks is gone for a quick 19 runs. In comes Dawid Malan. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

5th over: England 39-0 (Bairstow 20, Jacks 19) Milne off, Ferguson on. Jacks smears him between mid-on and midwicket for four, then inside-edges a similar shot just wide of leg stump for four more.

England aren’t middling too many, yet they are making good progress. Jacks ends what was a pretty good over from Ferguson by clouting six over midwicket. It went very high but kept travelling until it plopped into the crowd. Fifteen from the over, a minor travesty.

4th over: England 24-0 (Bairstow 19, Jacks 5) The left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner is on very early, a nod to the dry Old Trafford pitch. There’s a bit of spin, nothing too dramatic, and Bairstow punishes a short ball with a pull for four. He’s monopolising the strike, having faced 19 of the 24 deliveries so far.

3rd over: England 18-0 (Bairstow 14, Jacks 4) A fractionally short delivery from Milne is savaged over midwicket for four by Bairstow. Milne continues to trouble him with the inducker, even if the movement isn’t as extravagant as it was in the first over.


This is a really important set of games for Bairstow, whose already enormous importance to England’s 50-over team has increased given the relative struggles of Jason Roy since the last World Cup.

Jonny Bairstow
Here’s Jonny! Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

2nd over: England 12-0 (Bairstow 8, Jacks 4) Southee doesn’t get as much swing as Milne, which is a bit of surprise, and Bairstow thumps him back over his head for four. A top-edged pull lands safely for a couple, and then Bairstow has to protect his stumps after knocking the ball into the ground.

“Can we dream about Harry Brook sneaking into the World Cup squad,” says Brendan Large. “Much as I appreciate the whole ‘hie time will come’ comments, he is clearly ready now and could make the difference in a knock-out game that (for example) Livingstone might struggle to do in India with the ball moving sideways off the track.”

I’d argue Livingstone is a red herring. They need six bowlers in the team and have decided, reasonably I think, that a reserve opener is more likely to be needed than a reserve middle-order batter, so that means there is only room for two of Brook, Stokes and Buttler. The alternative argument is that Brook could open but that is, well a different argument, and one we probably don’t have time for during a T20. A nice boring pre-Bazball Test, perhaps. That said, I do think history will have an itchy chin when it considers Harry Brook’s omission from the 2023 World Cup.


1st over: England 5-0 (Bairstow 1, Jacks 4) Adam Milne’s first ball is a big inswinger which widens the eyes of Jonny Bairstow. His second cuts Bairstow in half and is superbly stopped down the leg side by Seifert. Hello, this could be interesting.

It’s officially interesting: New Zealand have reviewed for LBW against Bairstow! He played around another huge inswinger, except this one was slightly fuller and hit him on the back pad. Alex Wharf said not out, but this looks close. Replays show it would have missed leg stump.

Bairstow decides to get round the other end asap, diving desperately after playing tip and run to mid-on.

Will Jacks makes a much more confident start to his innings, crunching a full inswinger through the covers for four. Milne pulls his length back and bets Jacks on the inside. That was such a menacing first over.

Here come the players. Our man Athers says there is a slightly subcontinental feel to the pitch, hence England’s decision to bat first. They have four spinners, five if you include Dawid Malan.


“Superb stuff from Michael Atherton explaining the new tech in county cricket that feeds data to selectors and helped identify Gus Atkinson as a genuine quick though it was pretty obvious at the Oval,” writes Gary Naylor. “That Atherton could do all that without hesitation or notes walking round the outfield shows a master broadcaster at work – best ever for me despite a well stocked cricket pantheon.”

He’d be right up there even if he wasn’t also working as the cricket correspondent of the Times most days. Imagine the concentration and ability you need to do that! Also has a lovely, dry sense of humour and an infectious cackle, and never stops looking forward. He’s pretty much flawless, isn’t he?

It’s the first email of the evening! Oh.

“Afternoon Rob,” writes Simon McMahon. “I swear I’ve just seen Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay heading into Wetherspoons in Dundee, where Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin is rumoured to be waiting to thrash out a deal to bring them to Tannadice on a season long loan. Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland so, with the rain in Manchester never far away, it makes perfect sense, don’t you think?”

A bit of pre-match reading


Team news

Gus Atkinson was presented with his cap by his Surrey teammate Sam Curran, which might be the first time an England debutant has received his cap from somebody younger than him. His inclusion, in place of Luke Wood, is the only change from the first match. New Zealand are unchanged.

England Bairstow, Jacks, Malan, Brook, Buttler (c/wk), Ali, Livingstone, Curran, Rashid, Carse, Atkinson.

New Zealand Conway, Allen, Seifert (wk), Phillips, Chapman, Mitchell, Santner, Milne, Sodhi, Southee (c), Ferguson.

England win the toss and bat

Jos Buttler said he wasn’t 100 per cent sure whether to bat or bowl. Gus Atkinson (25, 95mph) makes his England debut.



The weather forecast for Manchester is pretty good this weekend. Cloudy but dry tonight; cloudy changing to sunny intervals by late morning tomorrow; sunny intervals changing to cloudy by late morning on Sunday. It’s summer, so we play cricket, right? Would that it were so simple.

Six weeks ago, at the height of the English summer, Old Trafford became a paddling pool. It denied everyone the most exciting end to a Test series in the history of forever, and some of us aren’t quite over it.

Life moves on, red balls turn to white, biblical downpours turn to sunny intervals changing to cloudy by late morning, and cricket is played in Manchester. Which is a longwinded way of saying: welcome to live coverage of the second T20 international between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford.

England won handsomely at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday, when Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Dawid Malan and Luke Wood (alphabetical order, Dawid, nothing more than that) all starred. We know this is a slightly odd series: it has an even number of matches (please, not another 2-2 draw), it comes barely a month before the start of a 50-over World Cup and a number of the players won’t be off to that tournament in India. It’s not quite the orgy of context and meaning that future tour planners fantasise about.


Even so, it has plenty going for it. White-ball form is pretty transferrable, so boundaries and wickets are credit in the bank for those going to the World Cup; we might see Gus Atkinson make his England debut; we’ll almost certainly see Harry Brook bat. And I hope we can all agree that, truly, there are worse ways to spend a Friday night.

The match begins at 6pm, with the toss at 5.30pm.

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