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Andrew Alderson: Black Caps beaten by own approach

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England's Ben Stokes, left, shakes hands with New Zealand's Kane Williamson. Photo / AP
England's Ben Stokes, left, shakes hands with New Zealand's Kane Williamson. Photo / AP

Last year England, under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, admitted to emulating the aggressive strategy New Zealand brought to their limited overs cricket. They have since perfected the art of playing without fear. If the Black Caps could be deemed "the masters", their apprentices trumped them again.

Today in their World T20 semi-final, England mimicked another aspect of New Zealand's mantra. They took the emotion out of their cricket and, with a seven-wicket victory, delivered a clinical dissection which wouldn't have looked amiss in an operating theatre.

The New Zealand approach earned a 2015 World Cup final spot, but England had already matched them when they hosted last year's gripping ODI series. They won 3-2, and also secured the one-off T20 match in Manchester.

They were imbued with a confidence which dissolved the hangover of their World Cup failure.

England has morphed into a side with swagger and chutzpah.

Despite their opening hiccup against the West Indies, they look capable of earning silverware and replicating their 2010 victory in Kolkata on Monday morning. New Zealand's ethos remains more tradesman-like and egalitarian. Everyone plays a role and the spoils and kudos are distributed equally. They demonstrate admirable consistency, but a maiden World Cup or World T20 title still eludes.

Listen to Colin Munro on the Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast:

One of New Zealand's recent methodologies has been 'find a way', regardless of circumstance. England usurped that mindset in Delhi.

First they recovered from an 89 for one deficit after 10 overs. Barring 11 runs from the opening over, New Zealand's run rate peaked at the halfway mark after being sent in.

England responded by taking seven for 64 in the second half of the innings to cap the chasing run rate at 7.70. New Zealand's middle order failed to capitalise on a platform of 107 for three when Colin Munro exited in the 14th over. They lost five wickets for 20 in the final four overs.

An opening partnership of 82 off 8.2 overs between Jason Roy and Alex Hales ensured England could start booking flights to the final against the winner of tomorrow's India-West Indies contest. Roy in particular commanded, with his highest T20 international score of 78 off 44 balls.

New Zealand struck a glimmer of hope with the consecutive wickets of Roy and Morgan from tournament bowling revelation Ish Sodhi, but the composure of Joe Root and Jos Buttler was impossible to rattle in the final throes.

- NZ Herald

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Covers sport across NZME's print, digital and radio brands.

Andrew writes and broadcasts on cricket and the Olympic disciplines for NZME's print, digital, video and radio platforms. His most recent project followed New Zealand sportspeople competing in Europe during the 2015 northern summer. He has attended four cricket World Cups, three Olympics and regularly works as a correspondent overseas.

Read more by Andrew Alderson

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