T20 World Cup: Brilliant Buttler delivers as England claim crucial win over New Zealand

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Jos Buttler made a blistering half-century in his 100th game for England in the shortest format as they beat New Zealand by 20 runs to stay in the hunt for a T20 World Cup semi-final spot.

Knowing his side needed a victory at the Gabba to have a realistic chance of qualifying from Group 1, Buttler top scored with 73 off 47 balls to become his country's leading T20I run-scorer, with Alex Hales (52 from 40) also making a half-century in England's 179-6.

The England captain was dropped by Kane Williamson on eight and Daryl Mitchell when he had 40 to his name, with his team on course for 200 before a flurry of late wickets, including the brilliant Buttler being run out when he was in full flow as the Black Caps clawed it back.

New Zealand were in trouble on 28-2 after losing Devon Conway and Finn Allen, but Glenn Phillips and Williamson swung the game in their favour with a third-wicket stand of 91.

Moeen Ali dropped a simple chance to get rid of the powerful Phillips, in great touch after a brutal century against Sri Lanka, for 15 but Ben Stokes had Williamson (40) caught by Adil Rashid at short third man for a much-needed breakthrough.

Phillips was dismissed by the excellent Sam Curran (2-26) as England took the upper hand and Chris Woakes (2-33) was also outstanding to restrict the Black Caps to 159-6, sealing a victory that moved England second in Group 1 ahead of Australia with one game to play against Sri Lanka and level on points with leaders New Zealand, who face Ireland on Friday.

 

Buttler serves up a treat

Buttler capitalised on being given two lives to move beyond Eoin Morgan's tally of 2,458, taking his haul to 2,468 with a masterful 18th T20I half-century.

He struck two sixes and seven fours, showing a combination of sheer power and finesse to lead by example at the top of the order along with Hales.

Buttler then took a magnificent diving catch for Woakes to dismiss Conway, rising to the occasion in a must-win landmark game for the skipper.

In-form Curran steps up again

Curran has been outstanding for England in Australia, starring in a pre-tournament series success over the hosts and maintaining his fine form when it matters most.

He struck a six late in England's innings and then bowled four tight overs without conceding a boundary, also claiming the wickets of Allen and the big scalp of Phillips.

Curran also took an important catch in the deep to see the back of the dangerous Neesham as England claimed a measure of revenge for their T20 World Cup semi-final defeat to the Black Caps last year.