Luke Wright and Eoin Morgan kick started Englandís faltering t20 World Cup title defence with a much needed six wicket victory over New Zealand at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Having been set a victory target of 149, England were once again in trouble early on after the loss of Craig Kieswetter (4) and Alex Hales (22), both to spin to leave the defending champions 38-2.
Despite the early setback Wright (76) steadied Englandís nerves with a fine innings which saw him smash five boundaries and five sixes during a 3rd wicket stand of 89 with Morgan (30).
The pair ensured Englandís hopes of reaching the semi-finals were still alive despite the loss of Morgan in the 17th over and then Wright just 10 deliveries to go; the Kiwis however are all but out of the tournament after suffering back to back Super Eight defeats.
Earlier a quick fire half century from James Franklin helped New Zealand recover from a poor start; Franklin came to the crease with the Kiwiís 67-4 in the 12th over but his 32 ball 50 helped New Zealand recover to a score of 148-6 thanks to a 5th wicket stand of 40 between Franklin and skipper Ross Taylor.
Having won the toss Kiwis skipper Ross Taylor elected to bat first but it proved to be a poor decision after New Zealands struggled against the double threat of Steven Finn (3-16) and Graeme Swann (1-20).
Finn led the way removing Martin Guptill (5) and Brendon McCullum (10) as the Kiwis got off to a poor start on a slow dusty wicket which was already showing signs of turn from Danny Briggs who opened the bowling.
Franklin and Taylor offered some resistantís with their vital 5th wicket stand but with a score of 149 to chase England were still confident of securing a much needed victory.