England Cruise to 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Win over New Zealand

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2017

CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 06:  England bowler Adil Rashid celebrates after dismissing Mitchell Santner during the ICC Champions Trophy match between England and New Zealand at SWALEC Stadium on June 6, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

England (310) grabbed their second win of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on Tuesday, cruising to a 87-run win against New Zealand (223).

The result sees England take the top spot in Group A and qualify for the knockout stages, with the match against Australia still to come.

Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jos Buttler all scored half-centuries, while Liam Plunkett stole the show with the ball, taking four wickets.

CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 06: Corey Anderson of New Zealand plays to the offside during the ICC Champions Trophy match between England and New Zealand at the SWALEC Stadium on June 6, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Adam Milne and Corey Anderson each finished with three wickets for the Black Caps, who couldn't limit boundaries during their innings and were unable to answer back when it was their turn to bat.

England patiently built a solid total, powered by half-centuries from Hales, Root and Buttler. The trio weren't overly explosive with the bat but steadily added to the score, as the Black Caps couldn't find the wickets they desperately needed.

New Zealand's bowlers finally found their groove in the final overs, but by that point, England had already put together a solid innings. Cricket writer Harsha Bhogle thought it was a good total, but the Black Caps had the batting prowess to have a chance in the chase:

Luke Ronchi was dismissed on the first ball he faced, however, and while Kane Williamson (87 from 98) put together a fine knock, the Black Caps' run rate quickly dipped well below what was required.

England steadily worked through the middle of the order, led by Jake Ball, who bowled two maiden overs. The Black Caps never found a rhythm and ran out of wickets as the innings came to a close, not giving them the option to take a lot of risks.

The chase came to a premature end in the 45th over, as Plunkett took the wicket of Tim Southee.

With Australia and Bangladesh sharing the spoils in their draw on Monday, England now lead Group A with four points. New Zealand need to beat Bangladesh and see their rivals to lose their final match against England to have a chance of qualifying for the next round.

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