An inexperienced England batting lineup collapsed against New Zealand at the Saxton Oval in Nelson. The visitors were defeated by a 14-run margin. Dawid Malan's 55 off 34 balls went in vain as Blair Tickner and Lockie Ferguson sealed the game for the Kiwis.
England was chasing 181 runs and the team was in a favourable position to win the match. At one point, the visitors were 139/2 with 31 balls remaining and 42 runs required for victory. All of a sudden, a rare batting collapse saw the next 5 wickets fall for England in exchange for 10 runs in a matter of just 18 balls.
In the first innings of the game, New Zealand's Colin de Grandhomme made 55 as the Kiwis went on to make 180-7. England's Tom Curran took 2-29 and debutant Matt Parkinson's bowling card read 1-14.
England wouldn't have wanted a better start to the chase as debutant Tom Banton and Malan scored 25 runs off the first two overs.
Banton was in superb form as he didn't hesitate to play all-out against the fairly experienced Kiwi bowling line-up. The 20-year-old Somerset opener's 10-ball 18 showed glimpses of his promising talent. The English brigade will look forward to groom Banton ahead of next year's ICC World Twenty20 competition.
England was cruising towards their target comfortably as stable partnerships were built by their batsmen. Malan and James Vince nurtured a 63-run partnership. Then, Vince stood strong with Eoin Morgan to build a partnership of 49 runs.
While England was looking set for a victory, skipper Morgan was dismissed. Morgan was caught at deep mid-wicket at the end of the 14th over. Soon after, Sam Billings was run out, courtesy of a brilliant fielding attempt from Colin Munro. Soon, set batsman James Vince fell for 49.
Then, Ferguson did some heroics in the 18th over when he dismissed Lewis Gregory and Sam Curran. Since then, England failed to recover.
Currently, New Zealand is leading 2-1 in the ongoing five-match Twenty20 series. BBC reports that the fourth game is due on Friday in Napier. England will be determined to level the series at any cost.