CARDIFF -

England defied the rain and a late New Zealand rally to book their place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy with a tense 10-run win at Cardiff.

A target of 170 in a game reduced to 24 overs per side appeared well within the Kiwis' reach after England lost their last seven wickets for 28 runs. However, the hosts bowled splendidly, especially with the new ball, to restrict New Zealand to 159-8 despite Kane Williamson's valiant 67 off 54 balls.

Although they spent much of the second innings in the ascendancy, England could breathe easily only when Williamson skied Stuart Broad to James Anderson at extra-cover in the 22nd over. That Broad was millimetres away for being penalised for a no-ball - some replays suggested it should have been so - was typical of a day on which England's participation in the competition hung precariously in the balance.

England, as likely Group A winners, look set to face South Africa in the first semi-final at The Oval on Wednesday. Should Australia beat Sri Lanka convincingly at the same venue on Sunday, England will qualify as runners-up and meet India in the last four at Cardiff on Thursday - and New Zealand will exit the competition.

A large portion of the credit for England's progress must go to James Anderson, who claimed two key early wickets and finished with 3-32, while Ravi Bopara - the fifth bowler - included the dangerous Brendon McCullum in his haul of 2-26. The value of Alastair Cook's 64 off 47 balls, albeit far from chanceless, was also made apparent as New Zealand slipped to 62-5 in reply on a surface that spent much of the day under cover.

Earlier, New Zealand dismissed England for 169. New Zealand would have had a smaller total to chase had not Nathan McCullum dropped Alastair Cook, who top-scored with 64, three times before clinging on to a chance off his own bowling to end the England captain's 47-ball innings. Left-hander Cook was dropped on 14, 37 and 45 by Nathan McCullum, who did take four catches from seven chances.

Seamer Kyle Mills returned figures of four wickets for 30 runs and left-arm quick Mitchell McClenaghan three for 36, with England losing their last seven wickets for just 28 runs as their innings ended with three balls to spare. Opener Ian Bell, dropped on seven, was out for 10 when New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who won the toss, held a superb catch at short extra-cover off McClenaghan.

And 16 for one became 25 for two when Jonathan Trott, chipped Mills straight to Nathan McCullum, Brendon's older brother, at mid-wicket. Trott's exit gave Mills his 25th Champions Trophy wicket, surpassing the competition record of retired Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan.

James Franklin nearly had a wicket first ball when Cook pulled him to mid-wicket only for Nathan McCullum to drop the chance.

Left-hander Cook, not renowned as a power player, drove Franklin for six and four balls later flicked him over his shoulder for a four. But off the last ball of the 13th over, Franklin almost had him again only for Nathan McCullum once more to drop a juggled chance at mid-wicket. Joe Root exited for 38 when he skyed McClenaghan to wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi. However, Nathan McCullum then put down a relatively easy catch when, at backward point this time, he dropped Cook's cut off Kane Williamson before England's innings tailed off.

Scoreboard

ENGLAND:

A Cook c and b N McCullum    64

I Bell c B McCullum b McClenaghan    10

J Trott c N McCullum b Mills    8

J Root c Ronchi b McClenaghan    38

E Morgan lbw b Vettori    15

J Buttler c N McCullum b Mills    14

Bopara c Williamson b McClenaghan    9

T Bresnan run out    4

S Broad c N McCullum b Mills    0

J Tredwell c McClenaghan b Mills    0

J Anderson not out    0

EXTRAS: (lb2, w4, nb1)    7

TOTAL: (all out, 23.3 overs)    169

FOW: 1-16, 2-25, 3-100, 4-141, 5-143, 6-159, 7-166, 8-169, 9-169, 10-169

BOWLING: McClenaghan 5-0-36-3; Mills 4.3-0-30-4; Anderson 1-0-4-0; Vettori 5-0-27-1; Franklin 2-0-20-0; N McCullum 4-0-30-1; Williamson 2-0-20-0

New Zealand:

M Guptill b Anderson    9

L Ronchi c Trott b Anderson    2

K Williamson c Anderson b Broad    67

R Taylor lbw b Bresnan    3

B McCullum c Root b Bopara    8

J Franklin c Morgan b Bopara    6

CAnderson c Anderson b Bresnan    30

N McCullum c Buttler b Anderson    13

K Mills not out    5

EXTRAS: (lb 8, w 8)    16

TOTAL: (8 wickets; 24 overs)    159

FOW: 1-14, 2-14, 3-27, 4-48, 5-62, 6-135, 7-140, 8-159

BOWLING: S Broad 5-0-25-1, J Anderson 5-0-32-3, T Bresnan 5-0-41-2, R Bopara 5-0-26-2, J Tredwell 4-0-27-0

TOSS: New Zealand

UMPIRES: Rod Tucker (AUS), Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

THIRD UMPIRE: Steve Davis (AUS)

MATCH REFEREE: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)