Jake has a ball of a time as England secure s-final spot

CARDIFF • Jake Ball said he had enjoyed a day to "cherish" after England's 87-run victory over New Zealand in Cardiff on Tuesday saw the tournament hosts become the first team into the semi-finals of cricket's Champions Trophy.

It took him just four deliveries in the first over of New Zealand's reply to bowl Luke Ronchi for a golden duck on his way to a return of two for 31 in eight overs that saw him named Man of the Match.

New Zealand, chasing 311 to win, were never in the hunt after captain Kane Williamson was caught behind for 87 off fast bowler Mark Wood. When Liam Plunkett, who took four for 55, ended the match, the Black Caps had been dismissed for 223.

Earlier England, sent into bat by Williamson, made 310 all out, thanks mainly to Joe Root's 64 and Jos Buttler's unbeaten 61.

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Ball told Sky Sports: "It was about trying to put it in the right area and hopefully something will happen."

Just last week, he had an expensive return of one for 82 during England's opening eight-wicket Group A win over Bangladesh at the Oval.

But in Cardiff he managed the increasingly rare feat of bowling two maidens in a one-day international.

"I think that's one-day cricket - you have to be prepared to go round the park now and again and cherish these days when you come off with decent figures," added the 26-year-old.

England will return to Cardiff for a semi-final against the runners-up in Group B next Wednesday, regardless of the result of their final pool match against rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Virat Kohli urged India to produce a repeat of their Pakistan demolition when they face Sri Lanka in Group B today. The defending champions made a memorable start, crushing rivals Pakistan by 124 runs in Birmingham on Sunday.

Kohli knows momentum can change quickly in one-day competitions, especially against a desperate Sri Lanka team looking to bounce back from defeat by South Africa in their opener. But he hopes the confidence boost from beating Pakistan will help India secure another win.

"Every game in this tournament is big, but we have a side with a few youngsters coming in and gradually getting towards strengthening their careers for India," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2017, with the headline 'Jake has a ball of a time as England secure s-final spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe