|England 198-4 (20 overs): Bairstow 86* (60), Brook 67 (36); Sodhi 2-44|
|New Zealand 103 (13.5 overs): Seifert 39 (31); Atkinson 4-20|
|England won by 95 runs|
A sublime batting display led England to a crushing 95-run win over New Zealand in the second T20 at Old Trafford.
Opener Jonny Bairstow hit an unbeaten 86 from 60 balls and Harry Brook struck a magnificent 67 from 36 as England posted 198-4.
Fast bowler Gus Atkinson then took 4-20 on his international debut as New Zealand crumbled to 103 all out.
The win gives England a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
Brook and Bairstow added 131 for the third wicket after England lost Will Jacks for 19 and Dawid Malan for a duck.
New Zealand’s batters immediately felt the pressure of the run-rate as Atkinson dismissed opener Devon Conway in his first over.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid finished with 2-18 as he became England’s leading T20 wicket taker.
Tim Seifert top-scored with 39 but Glenn Phillips’ 22 was the only other contribution of more than 20 as England backed up their comprehensive victory at Chester-le-Street with another dominant performance.
The series continues at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Brook’s majestic masterclass
It has been a whirlwind month for 24-year-old Brook, who was not selected in England’s provisional 50-over World Cup squad but responded with a remarkable century in The Hundred.
He impressed with 43 in England’s comfortable win in the first T20 but, in front of a lively Manchester crowd, he went even further in a scintillating innings that left New Zealand’s bowlers in disbelief.
Two of his five sixes came in his first 10 balls with glorious drives over extra cover off spinner Ish Sodhi, and he continued to combine finesse with power in a blistering partnership alongside Bairstow that took the game beyond the Black Caps.
Bairstow was somewhat scratchy before Brook’s arrival, making 26 from 27 balls as Jacks and Malan departed.
But Brook’s free-flowing approach seemed to release his fellow Yorkshireman as he reached his half-century from 40 balls before launching his way to 77 in the space of his next seven balls.
Brook’s omission from the 50-over squad continues to raise eyebrows, and with a performance of such breath-taking skill, the questions about that decision are not going to end any time soon.
Atkinson’s eye-catching debut
England have been looking to build a crop of formidable fast bowlers for a long time, with Atkinson and Brydon Carse advancing their cases to join that group in this series so far.
Carse impressed in one-day internationals in 2021 before being hampered by injuries but took 3-23 on his T20 debut on Wednesday, while Atkinson here lived up to his reputation that has been growing over the past 12 months.
Atkinson’s 4-20 are the best figures by any England men’s bowler on T20 debut, and he regularly topped 90mph with an action that looked effortless and deceived New Zealand’s bewildered batters.
Conway holed out to deep square leg before Atkinson cleaned up the innings in the 14th over, having Seifert caught by Buttler, pinning Tim Southee lbw and splattering Lockie Ferguson’s stumps with a yorker.
It meant New Zealand lost their last five wickets in the space of just 12 balls as their batting struggles mirrored their bowling.
With the likes of Mark Wood, Luke Wood and maybe even Jofra Archer to also call on by England in white-ball cricket soon, it is unlikely New Zealand’s will be the last line-up to be blown away.
‘Anything can happen before we get on that plane’ – reaction
England fast bowler Gus Atkinson on BBC Two: “I didn’t know those were the best figures by an England bowler on T20 debut – that’s lovely to hear.
“They just told me to do what I’ve been doing – and it went great!”
New Zealand captain Tim Southee on BBC Two: “England played brilliantly, the way Brook came out really took it to us.
“We were probably a bit off with the ball, which makes it hard for our batters to chase down on that wicket. It’s tough, chasing that score. You need something special.”
England captain Jos Buttler on BBC Two: “Having so many players to pick from is a good headache to have. You’re always leaving out good players, which is tough.
“Harry Brook is playing brilliantly. There’s a lot of noise around the World Cup and him not being in that squad at the moment, but for him to just go and play the way he does – all credit must go to him.
“There’s a long time between now and when we get on the plane – you never know what can happen.”
England batter Harry Brook on BBC Two: “I try to play on instinct as much as possible and thankfully I hit a few out of the middle.
“A couple of years ago I was getting too far head of myself, thinking about playing for England and not concentrating on playing for Yorkshire. I just knuckled down and thankfully it’s worked out.”