Black Caps end England's purple patch

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss shrugged off his side&rsquo;s emphatic defeat to New Zealand, insisting it would have no bearing on their Champions Trophy chances.<br /><br />The Black Caps&rsquo; four-wicket victory in Johannesburg ensured they reached the semi-finals by winning Group B and consigned England to their first loss of the tournament.<br /><br />Already assured of a last-four place, England were dismissed for a meagre 146, albeit on a treacherous pitch, and New Zealand reached their target with almost 23 overs to spare.<br /><br />Strauss, who fell for nought second ball, refused to be downcast but admitted his team must regroup quickly ahead of their last-four showdown against either Pakistan or Australia.<br /><br />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no point dwelling on it too much, the semi-final in Centurion is going to be completely different,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it was a very good wicket for a one-day international. It was a big loss to lose.&rdquo;<br /><br />Friday&rsquo;s semi will see England return to the scene of their inspired batting performance against South Africa, where they hit 323 runs. He added:&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got to remember back to that and make sure we do it again.&rdquo;<br /><br />Strauss lost the toss on a track offering varied bounce, and after 27 overs England were staring down the barrel at 95-7. Paul Collingwood, ever England&rsquo;s saviour, hit three sixes in a rearguard 40 but Grant Elliott took 4-31 as Strauss&rsquo;s men wilted.<br /><br />New Zealand did not hang about, smashing 75 off the opening 11 overs, but after Brendon McCullum&rsquo;s 48 from 39 deliveries, they lost five for 27 as Stuart Broad ripped through the middle order for his 4-39.<br /><br />&ldquo;The batsmen needed a bit of luck to stay in. Paul Collingwood played well but we needed another batsman to stay there,&rdquo; said Strauss. &ldquo;It was very encouraging to see Stuart Broad bowl well and put them under pressure but we never quite had enough runs on the board.&rdquo;<br /><br />Despite being a pre-tournament laughing stock, England have progressed along with the unfancied Kiwis from a group containing one-day forces Sri Lanka and South Africa.