Sledgehammer batsman Jason Roy has promised that England will come out “all guns blazing” in a bid to win the World Twenty20 after his spellbinding half-century propelled his side to victory against New Zealand in Delhi.
England cruised home by seven wickets after opener Roy struck a blistering and career-best 44-ball 78 as the 2010 tournament winners chased down their victory target of 154 with 17 deliveries to spare.
After the previously unbeaten New Zealand had raced to 89-1 from 10 overs, England reined in their rivals and restricted them to just 64 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the second half of their innings. No3 batsman Colin Munro top scored with 46.
England will face either hosts India or the West Indies, who clash today, in Sunday’s final in Kolkata, and Roy insists there will be no retreat in the no-fear approach which has become a hallmark of their white-ball cricket.
“It sounds pretty cool to be in a final. We’re hugely excited, it’s mind-blowing,” said South African-born Roy. “I don’t mind who we play, but whoever it is, we’re going to come out all guns blazing.
“We’re getting better with every game. The final is just another game of cricket, it just happens to be at Eden Gardens in front of 100,000 people and a World Cup final.
“It’s going to be an incredible experience but we’re going to play our natural way and the brand of cricket we’ve been playing for some time.”
New Zealand were rollicking towards a total in excess of 200 before England applied the brakes and clinical death bowling from Stokes and Chris Jordan left the Blacks Caps with a modest 153-8 to defend. Stokes was the pick of the bowlers with 3-26.
Surrey’s Roy, who averaged 13 from eight T20 international heading into the tournament, then assumed centre stage as he creamed four boundaries from Corey Anderson’s opening over before savaging a blunt New Zealand bowling attack.
The 25-year-old struck a total of 11 fours and two sixes in his knock of 78 before being bowled by spinner Ish Sodhi, which prompted a temporary England wobble as skipper Eoin Morgan departed first ball LBW.
Yorkshire’s Joe Root, the leading run-scorer in the competition proper with 195, steadied the ship with an unbeaten score of 27 alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, who blitzed 32 from 17 balls, pummelling three maximums in the process.