England, who faced almost certain elimination if they lost, joined their rivals in the top two in Group 1 with one round of matches remaining.
Only the top two make it to the semi-finals.
That puts enormous pressure on hosts and defending champions Australia, who now need to win their final match against Afghanistan and hope to upset England or New Zealand.
“We had a poor performance (lost to Ireland) but there is a lot of confidence in the squad,” said England captain Jos Buttler, who powered England to 179-6 after smashing 73 from 47 balls. Alex Hales also hit a half-century.
England deny Glenn Phillips to go level on points with Australia and New Zealand in Group 1 of the #T20WorldCup… https://t.co/q9rNjckNh1
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1667302433000
“We were aiming for 160-165 but we managed to push on – we left it all there tonight,” Buttler said.
The captain played a crucial role with the bat as England finally began to show why they were one of the pre-tournament favourites. Their fate is now in their own hands.
England got off to a perfect start in the field when New Zealand opener Devon Conway glanced a ball from Chris Woakes and Buttler took a spectacular diving catch.
It got worse for the Kiwis when Finn Allen pulled a slower ball from Sam Curran to Ben Stokes at deep midwicket to leave New Zealand 28-2 after five overs.
The Black Caps struggled against a tight bowling attack, but the momentum swung firmly in their favor when Moeen Ali dropped the in-form. Glen Phillips when he was on 15 and New Zealand 64-2.
Group 1 is still wide open with a game left for each team 👀Who do you think will clinch the semi-final places? 🤔… https://t.co/uxoyFiL1xX
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Phillips skied an attempted pull shot straight at Ali, who somehow didn’t get a hand on it.
Phillips, who blasted a century against Sri Lanka in New Zealand’s last game, made England pay as he raced to his half-century off just 25 balls.
Buttler was busy ringing the changes with his attack as he tried seven bowlers in search of a breakthrough.
His seventh pick finally paid off when Black Caps captain Kane Williamson (40) edged a Stokes delivery to Adil Rashid at short third.
James Neesham came and went for six but Phillips continued to smash the England attack across the Gabba.
He lost Daryl Mitchell, who was caught on the boundary by replacement fielder Chris Jordan off Mark Wood, before falling almost immediately to Sam Curran in the same manner.
Once Phillips fell, New Zealand’s challenge was all but over as the lower order struggled to find the boundary.
“Credit to the way England played,” Williamson said.
A captain’s knock 💪Jos Buttler’s stunning 47-ball 73 earns him the @aramco POTM 👏 https://t.co/bR2qsgS8ev
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“They put us under pressure. They played beautifully, hats off to them, they were quite clinical.
“It was a slightly over-the-top total. We tried to take it a bit deeper but the way they bowled is credit.”
Earlier, Buttler was dropped twice during his entertaining knock, before he overtook former captain Eoin Morgan as the highest run-scorer for England in T20 matches.
Williamson was left to drop Buttler.
“He’s one of, if not the best player in the game,” Williamson said.
“If you do, he’ll make you pay, he’s made the boundaries look small, which they certainly aren’t.”
New Zealand, England and Australia are all on five points after four matches.
But New Zealand, last year’s beaten finalists, topped Group 1 on net run rate, with England second.
New Zealand, who could have sealed a place in the semi-finals with a win, play Ireland on Friday – the same day the hosts are in action against already eliminated Afghanistan.
England face Asian champions Sri Lanka on Saturday to round out the group.