In Depth

Can England win World T20 after destroying New Zealand?

The five factors that have helped Eoin Morgan's team defy critics and grab a place in the final

England booked their place in the World T20 final on Sunday with a thrilling demolition job on New Zealand, led by Surrey batsman Jason Roy, who struck a brutal 78 off 44 balls to break the Kiwis.

New Zealand had been the standout side of the tournament but were undone by England's own brand of discipline and mayhem.

It was the discipline that came first. At 131-3 with four overs remaining, the Kiwis appeared on top. However, their innings stalled and they set England a relatively modest 154.

And then came the attack, as Eoin Morgan's team reached their target with seven wickets and 17 balls to spare.

"No one anticipated it could be that easy," says The Guardian.

England will now face either India or the West Indies on Sunday, each battling to become the first nation to claim a second T20 title.

"To reach a World Cup final in India with a bunch of kids and only one player who has played in the Indian Premier League... is a remarkable achievement for this England side," says Michael Vaughan in the Daily Telegraph.

It would be an even bigger shock if they won the tournament. How can they do it?

Brilliant death bowling

In the semi-final, New Zealand scored just 64 runs from their second ten overs and managed 20 off their final four. They would have been hoping for at least double that.

Those four overs, delivered by Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes, were "immense", says Simon Hughes in The Times. The pair had produced something similar when England bowled second in a nail-biting game against Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament. Jordan's ability to place a yorker and Stokes's apparent love of pressure make them a formidable pairing.

"The key is twofold for bowlers at that stage: having confidence to deliver a variety of balls, among which the yorker remains the most difficult to hit, and not being afraid of occasionally going for runs. It takes a brave type to volunteer for the job," says Mike Atherton, also in the Times.

Fielding prowess

In T20, where every run counts, there is little point in bowling well if you do not field well. But England were "sharp and error free", says Atherton, and that played a "big part" in restricting New Zealand.

The sight of David Willey sprinting round the boundary to save one run summed up the performance as much as the safely held catches in the deep. "They put in their best fielding performance of the competition in the semi-final, which shows they revel in the pressure of a big occasion," writes Michael Vaughan in the Telegraph.

Versatility

After their opening match defeat to West Indies, England have shown their versatility, mounting an epic run chase against South Africa, defending a low total against Afghanistan and staving off a stirring fightback by Sri Lanka. They used both defence and attack to beat New Zealand.

They have also learned from previous matches. Spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, for example, who were punished by Sri Lanka, were "flatter [and] bowled a slightly shorter length", says Simon Hughes of the Times.

England also execute plans well. The dangerous New Zealander Colin Munro was dismissed in the semi-final after Liam Plunkett "out-thought him with a deliberate line wide of off stump and Munro perished via a top edge to third man", says Cricinfo.

Exuberant batting

"A target of 154 would often encourage slightly conservative beginnings. England do not think like that these days; certainly Jason Roy didn't," says Cricinfo.

Roy's innings was the highlight of the semi-final. "Strong down the ground and square of the wicket, Roy's power was breathtaking and ensured the game was won in the powerplay," says Nick Hoult of the Telegraph.

He and Jos Butter, who polished things of with three sixes in four balls, have "the fastest wrists in the west", says Simon Hughes in the Times. That allows them to manufacture extraordinary shots.

Other big hitters include Alex Hales, who was happy to play second fiddle to Roy, and Stokes, while the likes of Root, arguably the most complete batsman in the game, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali can also adapt their game and play according to the match situation.

Confidence in their ability

"The serenity with which they went about their business suggested they always knew things would pan out like this," says Jonathan Liew of the Telegraph. "They played like no harm would ever befall them: cricket that felt not just adept but blessed, not just skilful but deeply and profoundly enlightened."

Liew's colleague, Michael Vaughan, is definitely impressed: "I have been watching England since the 1992 World Cup and I have not seen a performance in a big game as good as that.

"They are brave and it looks like the majority of the side want to be the one who has to perform under pressure whether with bat, ball or taking a skier in the field. It is a wonderful enthusiastic culture to have when everyone wants to be that person."

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