Pallekele: Steven Finn and Luke Wright played stellar roles as defending champions England revived their title hopes with a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in their Super Eight match of the ICC World Twenty20 here on Saturday.
Finn achieved his as well as England's best figures in the ICC World Twenty20 - three for 16 - before Wright hit a 43-ball 76 as England chased down the target of 149 with seven balls to spare.
After Finn and Co's disciplined bowling restricted New Zealand to a modest 148 for six, England got off to a cautious start but soon Wright, who smashed five fours and equal number of sixes, sent the bowlers on a leatherhunt.
He was well supported by Eoin Morgan (30) at the other end and together they put on a 89-run stand for the third wicket.
England lost opener Craig Kieswetter (4) early but thereafter Alex Hales (22), Wright and Morgan made sure that there were no hiccup on the road to victory.
The defeat, their second after the loss to Sri Lanka, left New Zealand on the brink of an early elimination.
Earlier, Finn never allowed the Black Caps to settle down.
James Franklin, with an useful 50 off 33 balls, and captain Ross Taylor (28), were the two New Zealand batsmen who played responsible innings after the Kiwis decided to bat on winning the toss.
Franklin along with Taylor put on a 40-run stand for the fifth wicket, before he partnered Nathan McCullum (10-ball 16 not out) to add another 39 runs for the sixth wicket to help the Black Caps reach the fighting total.
New Zealand did not have an ideal start as Finn dismissed opener Martin Guptill (5) in the second over of the match, followed by the wicket of in-form Brendon McCullum (10) in his next over.
Rob Nicol (11) and Kane Williamson (17) also had brief stay at the crease while Graeme Swann (1/20) and Danny Briggs (1/36) chipped in with a wicket apiece to leave the Kiwis reeling at 67 for four in 11.4 overs.
Although Taylor and Franklin could consolidate the Kiwi innings a bit but they failed to up the ante, even as the English bowlers tightened the noose.
Both the batsmen found it difficult to get the big shots going and concentrated on taking singles. It was only Franklin, who could occasionally cleared the boundary.
Finn then returned for his second spell and straightaway sent Taylor back for a 23-ball 22, which was laced with two boundaries.
Franklin, however, stood his ground and kept the scoreboard ticking.
He hit a four and a six off two consecutive balls off a Tim Bresnan's over to release some of the pressure.
Nathan McCullum also took his chances as he went on to hit two important sixes off skipper Stuart Broad's over, giving a semblance of respectability to the final total.
England: Stuart Broad (c), Jonathan Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wkt), Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (c), Doug Bracewell, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson.