After a four-match Twenty20 series that ended all square at 2-2 on Tuesday at Trent Bridge, New Zealand defeated England by six wickets behind outstanding performances from Mitchell Santner with the ball and Tim Seifert leading the way at bat.
English T20 champions were on pace for a massive total as Jonny Bairstow was scoring a rapid 73, reminding the Black Caps of his magnificent Test century against them in Nottingham last year.
However, New Zealand claimed four wickets for 35 runs as England’s white-ball skipper Jos Buttler was declared out of the contest. Left-arm spinner Santner returned impressive figures of 3-30.
Seifert scored 48 and Glenn Phillips, who was in form, made 42 for New Zealand, who dominated the chase. With 16 balls remaining, Mark Chapman’s undefeated 40 finished off a convincing victory.
As part of their preparations for their title defence in India beginning next month, England will now play a four-match one-day international series against New Zealand, the side they defeated in the 2019 50-over World Cup final. The series will begin in Cardiff on Friday.
England won each of the first two T20 series matches handily, winning by seven wickets and 95 runs, but New Zealand responded on Sunday at Edgbaston with a 74-run victory.
At the presentation ceremony, Tim Southee, the captain of New Zealand, said, “We were far from our best in the first two games and the last two have been closer to what this side is about.”
“England had a fantastic start to the match, but we understood that the best way to slow them down was to keep taking wickets. We were attempting to be astute and force them to make bold decisions.”
“They (New Zealand) bowled really well but we just lost some momentum after the powerplay so that was disappointing,” said stand-in skipper of England Moeen Ali.
“They had an amazing start with the bat too, and we couldn’t wrestle it back,” he said.
The toss was won by Moeen, and after 11 overs, England was 105-1.
Although Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone both scored 26, Santner spearheaded New Zealand’s comeback in the field with a haul that included the valuable wicket of Bairstow.
With three legside sixes, Bairstow dominated the powerplay, punishing pacemen Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson as well as the bowlers.
However, after lofting Santner to the ground, he was unable to clear long-on, which put a stop to his attack.
Before Santner removed both Malan and Moeen in the 16th over, Ish Sodhi, another spinner from New Zealand, forced Harry Brook, who was left out of England’s probable World Cup team, to hole out for four.
When Bairstow hurt his shoulder while batting, regular white-ball keeper Buttler had to be called in to provide backup behind the wickets.
After hitting two sixes off Brydon Carse and Luke Wood, Seifert returned to the side and was caught and bowled by Rehan Ahmed, a young leg spinner, after he had leaped above them.
However, Chapman ensured that New Zealand won.