England v New Zealand: Harry Brook and Joss Atkinson shine as the hosts lead 2-0

England 198-4 (20 points): Bairstow 86* (60), Brook 67 (36); Al-Sudi 2-44
New Zealand 103 (13.5 overs): 39 sv (31); Atkinson 4-20
England won by 95 runs

An impressive display of batting led to England’s crushing 95-run victory over New Zealand in their second T20 innings at Old Trafford.

Opener Jonny Bairstow made an unbeaten 86 off 60 balls and Harry Brook scored an impressive 67 from 36 as England scored 198-4.

Fast bowler Joss Atkinson then took 4-20 on his international debut as New Zealand collapsed to 103 all out.

The win gives England a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

Brook and Bairstow added 131 for the third wicket after England lost Will Jakes for 19 and Dawid Malan for a duck.

The New Zealand batsmen immediately felt the pressure of the run rate as Atkinson dismissed opener Devon Conway in his first over.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid finished with 2-18 as he became England’s T20 player of the year.

Tim Seifert top-scored with 39 but Glenn Phillips’ 22 was the only other contribution of more than 20 as England backed up their comprehensive win at Chester-le-Street with another dominant performance.

The series continues in Edgbaston on Sundays.

Majestic Brock Lessons

It’s been a whirlwind month for the 24-year-old Brook, who was not named in England’s preliminary 50-man squad for the World Cup, but responded with an impressive century in the list of 100.

He impressed with 43 in England’s comfortable first T20 win, but in front of a lively Manchester crowd he went above and beyond in a scintillating innings that left the New Zealand bowlers in disbelief.

Two of his five balls in his first 10 came with glorious runs over extra cover from spinner Ish Sodhi, and he continued to combine finesse and power in a solid partnership with Bairstow that took the game far beyond the Black Caps.

Bairstow was somewhat disoriented before Brook arrived, working his way to 26 off 27 balls as Jack and Mallan left.

But Brooke’s free-flowing style seemed to free his fellow Yorkshireman when he hit a half-century off 40 balls before making his way to 77 in the space of his next seven balls.

Brook’s exclusion from the 50-plus squad continues to raise eyebrows, and with such an astonishing skill performance, questions about this decision aren’t going away anytime soon.

Atkinson makes a striking debut

England have been looking to build a group of formidable fast bowlers for a long time, with Atkinson and Bredon Carse developing their case for joining that group in this series so far.

Kars shone in One Day International cricket in 2021 before being hampered by injuries but took 3-23 on his T20 debut on Wednesday, while here Atkinson lived up to a reputation that had grown over the past 12 months.

Atkinson’s 4-20 are the best figures by any English bowler on his T20 debut, and he regularly topped 90mph with a seemingly effortless move that outwitted the bewildered New Zealand batsmen.

Conway holed to square leg deep before Atkinson cleaned the innings on the 14th, after Butler caught Sievert, pinned Tim Southee on a pound and splashed Luke Ferguson’s stumps with a Yorker.

This meant that New Zealand lost their last five overs in the space of just 12 balls as their batting struggles mirrored their bowling.

With the likes of Mark Wood, Luke Wood and possibly even Jofra Archer also called up to the England squad, New Zealand is unlikely to be the last side to surprise.

“Brooke really took it to us” – reaction

English fast bowler Joss Atkinson on BBC Two: “Little did I know that these are the best numbers an English footballer has ever produced on his T20 debut – that’s nice to hear.

“It was amazing Sam Curran tipping my hat, I’ve known him for 10 years or so, so that was great.

“They just asked me to do what I was doing – and it worked out great!”

New Zealand captain Tim Southee on BBC Two: “England played really well and the way Brook came out really impressed us.

“Maybe we were a bit off the ball, making it difficult for our strikers to chase that wicket. It’s hard to chase that score. You need something special.”

England batsman Harry Brook on BBC Two: “I try to be as natural as possible and fortunately I hit some balls from the middle of the pitch tonight.

“Two years ago I was overthinking myself, thinking about playing for England and not focusing on playing for Yorkshire. I just gave up and luckily it worked out.”

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