Ball '˜bounces back' as England seal ICC Champions Trophy semi-final spot
Welbeck Wizard Jake Ball delivered a man of the match performance for England in their ICC Champions Trophy win over New Zealand, which saw the tournament hosts qualify for the semi-finals.
Ball led the attack with Mark Wood as England looked to defend 310 in difficult weather conditions in Cardiff. The Notts bowler set the tone with a wicket in his first over and followed it up with a maiden in his second.
He finished with figures of 2-31 from eight overs, dimissing Luke Ronchi and Ross Taylor - New Zealand’s two and four numbered batsmen, on his way to picking up the match honours. Ball was delighted with his own and the team’s performance.
Ball said: “It’s a great performance. From start to finish to get 300 on the board and then for the boys to come out and bowl the way we did it was a good all-round performance.
“It was quite blustery and difficult at times but everyone did their fair share into it so I can’t complain.”
It was quite the turnaround for Ball who had gone for 82 from 10 overs in England’s opening match of the Trophy against Bangladesh.
He said: “Off the back of the Bangledesh game, where I wasn’t so happy with my performance, it’s nice to bounce back and put that (New Zealand) performance in. It instills the belief in me again.
“The wicket took a bit of rain and juiced it up so it was about putting it in the right area and there was a bit of seam movement for me earlier on.”
Alex Hales made 56, Joe Root 64 and Joss Buttler an unbeaten 61 as England posted 310. Wood took 1-32 and Liam Plunkett 4-55 as England won by 87 runs.
England face Australia on Saturday at Edgbaston in the last group stage match.