Venue: McLean Park, Napier (NZ)
Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
This has been an entertaining series so far with New Zealand currently leading England 2-1 after three T20I matches.
England got off to the perfect start in the series as they dominated the match in Christchurch, winning by seven wickets after chasing down New Zealand’s total of 153/5 in 18.3 overs.
Their joy, however, was short-lived as after winning the toss and electing to field for the second match in a row they allowed New Zealand to put up a total of 176/8. It was a target that never looked under threat after New Zealand got through the top of the England order, with the tourists falling 21 runs short.
New Zealand were again able to bat first in the third match, though this time that was of their own accord after winning the toss. They put up an even more respectable 180/7, with England finishing their run chase 14 runs short this time at 166/7 after their allotted 20 overs.
This puts the series in an interesting place, with England needing a win here in Napier to make the fifth match a winner takes all scenario.
England seemingly had the third T20I in their grasp. Needing just 42 for 32 balls they suffered a late collapse of wickets to go down to defeat. Expect the rotation of the team to continue as the English look to blood more new players on this tour to increase their squad depth for future matches across all formats.
Tom Banton and Matt Parkison both looked good in their debuts and seem likely to keep their places here. We also have a feeling that Jonny Bairstow will return to the lineup for a match England will really want to win.
Colin de Grandhomme was the driving force behind the third match win as he knocked 55 runs off of 35 balls in the middle of the order. The Black Caps batting has got stronger by the game and they will be expected to hit something in the 175-190 range here given they are playing themselves into form.
Trent Boult will likely be back in the fold after being rested, while Blair Tickner could retain his place after taking 2/25 from his four overs. Boult missed the first three matches and his addition back into the team – and the pace he bowls at – will be crucial if New Zealand are to seal the series with a win in Napier.
There is very little dividing these two teams in this series. The last two matches were both won by the Black Caps, but a couple of different bounces could have sent the match in a different direction. With that in mind – and given that the tourists need this one – take England straight up at 1.20 with BetXChange to win the match and tie up the series