ICC Champions Trophy, Wanderers, Johannesburg: New Zealand 147-6 (27.1 ovs) bt England 146 (43.1 ovs) by four wickets Match scorecard
By Jamie Lillywhite
McCullum gave the New Zealand innings a scintillating start
England fell to a four-wicket defeat as New Zealand reached the Champions Trophy semi-finals by winning Group B.
Already into the last four, England were put in on a pitch sharply varying in bounce and were 95-7 after 27 overs.
Paul Collingwood hit three sixes in 40 but Grant Elliott took 4-31 as England were all out for 146 in Johannesburg.
After Brendon McCullum's 48 in 39 balls the Kiwis lost five for 27 in eight overs as Stuart Broad claimed 4-39, but battled home with almost 23 overs left.
It was a determined display from the unfancied Kiwis, and it meant that two of the favoured sides, Sri Lanka and hosts South Africa, both failed to survive the group stages.
There were all manner of permutations when New Zealand began their reply at the Wanderers, getting to 139 but still losing being good enough to see them qualify, while winning in 44.3 overs would seal the group on net run-rate.
Blazing 75-0 after 11 overs rendered much of the maths irrelevant, with Broad finding his rhythm just a shade too late.
England, who had scored more than 300 to beat South Africa on Friday, will at least know they do not have to play on that wicket again, their semi-final taking place in Centurion on Friday against either Australia or Pakistan, who play on Wednesday.
The remarkable surface in Johannesburg resembled erratically constructed crazy paving, with new green grass lining the numerous cracks.
Andrew Strauss, no doubt fearing the worst after being asked to bat first on it, spoke of weathering the first 10 overs, but in fact only one ball was negotiated before the demons appeared, one from Kyle Mills flew off a length and the England captain edged through to the keeper.
Joe Denly saw his off-stump uprooted by one that kept low and nipped back from Shane Bond.
Owais Shah appeared to be free from the shackles against South Africa, playing some wonderfully inventive shots, but 13-2 on a spicy surface was not perhaps the time to try to repeat that innings.
Attempting to work a rising ball to leg he got a leading edge to slip, and having silenced his critics on Sunday, he would have stirred them up again with that stroke.
Elliott, bowling gentle medium pace, was somehow made to look unplayable.
As if the pitch was not difficult enough, Collingwood almost got himself out in the most unusual of circumstances.
Elliott exploited the conditions superbly with his medium pace
Having seen a ball go through to wicketkeeper McCullum, Collingwood walked down the wicket to inspect the pitch only to hear the dreaded death rattle as McCullum threw down the stumps behind his back.
Memories turned back to June 2008 at The Oval when then England captain Collingwood enforced a run-out after Elliott had been floored following a collision with Ryan Sidebottom.
Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori, the aggrieved captain on that occasion, was left with the decision this time, and many felt that because it was Collingwood he would have his revenge, but to his credit he allowed him to stay at the crease.
Despite the poor surface Collingwood showed glimpses of his recent fluency with three maximums into the leg-side before Ross Taylor leapt to pouch a mistimed pull at mid-wicket.
Bopara, having battled for 51 balls for his 30, got the most unplayable ball of the match, a genuine shooter off the express pace of Bond that trapped him lbw.
Still the batsman tried to play their shots, in many ways damned if they did or didn't.
Luke Wright opened his account with a pull for four but two balls later edged to the keeper, while Graeme Swann became Elliott's fourth victim when he skied a pull shot that keeper McCullum waited patiently to descend but did not have to move for.
As something of an after-thought England took the batting powerplay, and Sidebottom to his credit hit three boundaries.
Such was the dominance of seam that Vettori, by far his team's most successful bowler with almost 250 one-day international wickets, did not come into the attack until the 42nd over, but he soon ended the innings with the wicket of Sidebottom.
It was just possible that even with such a small total to defend, he and James Anderson might be able to produce something magical on the devilish surface, but McCullum and Guptill effectively took the pitch out of the equation with some fearless hitting.
Some of it was fortuitous, much of it inspired and some courtesy of bad bowling, with Broad initially guilty of persistently wayward short-pitched bowling.
McCullum's bold strokeplay ended with a slice to cover, but Guptill brought up the 100 with an imperious six off Collingwood walking down the wicket and lofting over long-on.
He was caught at slip for 53 by Swann, who then snared an even better low diving catch in the next over to remove Taylor.
Well directed lifting deliveries gave Broad two more victims, and acting keeper Eoin Morgan, given another chance behind the stumps because of Matt Prior's illness, claimed a third catch when Neil Broom nicked one that bounced and moved away from Sidebottom.
The fightback will give England encouragement for Friday's first semi-final, but it was perennial underdogs New Zealand who scraped through to the last four for the second successive tournament and earned the right to stay in Johannesburg.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.