Dubai, Nov 10: Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan helped England reach 166/4 in an occasionally scratchy first innings of the opening ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final in Abu Dhabi.
Scoring was slow and steady for much of England’s effort with the bat, with openers Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler steady but unspectacular through the powerplay, before Malan and Ali rebuilt the innings.
Some big hits late on from Livingstone and Ali, who finished on 51*, helped England to 166/4. But England will need a big effort from their bowling attack to tie New Zealand down in the reply.
Bairstow, who had looked lacking in fluency after his promotion to the top of the order, hinted at finding his touch in the fifth with a straight lofted drive off Southee.
But a shanked drive off Adam Milne’s very first delivery was brilliantly caught by Kane Williamson to send Bairstow packing for 13 off 17 and bring Dawid Malan to the crease.
And form-man Buttler fell shortly after the powerplay, caught in-front off Ish Sodhi in a huge blow to England’s chances.
Needing a big finish to reach a competitive total, Ali and Liam Livingstone unleashed late on, with captain Morgan dropped off the final ball as England finished four down. Livingstone’s 17 off 10 did the job for his side as a finisher, with Ali ending unbeaten on 51 off 37.