England 340-6, New Zealand 340-7: England's Wright idea earns thrilling tie

The introduction of Twenty20 cricket has made batsmen realise just how many runs can be scored in a limited-over match, whether its duration be 20, 40 or 50 overs. The recognition is the principal reason England and New Zealand shared 680 runs here yesterday in a thrilling one-day game. Five or six years ago the team batting second would never have dreamt about chasing down 340, yet with six overs of the game remaining New Zealand were coasting to victory.

The strokeplay and eventual drama, which culminated in Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills desperately scampering a single off the final ball to tie the match, provided spectators with wonderful entertainment. England could even have won had a diving Paul Collingwood hit the stumps from close range to effect a run out. Luke Wright, summoned to bowl the final over by his captain Collingwood with the Black Caps requiring just seven to win, was the bowling hero. It was Wright's first over of the game and he held his nerve to give England the chance of drawing level in the five-match series in Christchurch on Saturday.

Many cricket fans believe that the greater the volume of runs scored, the greater the entertainment. If it is the case they should be happy because the average score in one-day cricket continues to rise. But, unfortunately, there is a downside to this arrangement. Prior to Twenty20 bowlers took pride in their economy rates but the one-sided nature of the contest between bat and ball is almost absolving them of their responsibility to be frugal. Circumstance appears to have given them an excuse to leak six or seven runs an over, which captains and selectors seem happy to accept.

On a pristine batting surface with short boundaries square of the wicket the bowlers were always going to find it tough at McLean Park. The batting was magnificent, too, with Jamie How's superb 139 being the innings of the day. Phil Mustard was almost as impressive, scoring 83 exciting runs, as was Paul Collingwood, who struck the fastest half-century by an England player off just 24 balls. Collingwood hit six sixes in his innings, all in to the Harris Stand at square leg. Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and How smashed sixes in to the highly populated stand, too.

But the quality of bowling, with the notable exception of the admirable Ryan Sidebottom, was poor. The safest place on the pitch was on a good length on the line of off stump. Taking wickets is important but not at any cost, and the most used way of trying to claim one was by bowling a bouncer. The yorker, until the end of New Zealand's innings, seemd to have gone the way of the dodo.

Despite failing to defend 340 it is England who travel to Christchurch with their spirits high. With six overs remaining New Zealand needed 40 runs with seven wickets in hand. It was then that Scott Styris irresponsibly slogged Sidebottom to James Anderson at long-on. The wicket brought England back in to the game.

"I cannot believe the ball missed," said Collingwood when asked how close he had come to winning the game. "With six overs to go we were dead and buried, so we are pretty pleased to get a tie. In the last six overs we stepped it up, and when the pressure was really on we showed our character.

"Luke Wright did not have to bowl because I miscalculated the overs. I knew we were going to be one over short but I saved Luke until last because I wanted to take the game in to the last over because anything can happen then. I told Wrighty with four overs to go that he would be bowling it. He has bowled yorkers well in practice games and in the nets but it was a gamble.

"I told him he could be our hero and to enjoy it. He said he couldn't wait and when I told him to bowl yorkers he said 'at which stump?' It showed his character. He loves the big stage and he nailed that over. I suppose a tie was the fair result."

Vettori, the New Zealand captain, was less pleased. "It feels like a loss because it was a game we should have comfortably won from the position we put ourselves in," said the New Zealand captain. "We just threw it away in the last six overs and were lucky to get a tie in the end. From a spectacle point of view though, people must have loved watching it."

l England were fined for their slow over-rate during yesterday's match after they were found to be two overs behind their allocation. Collingwood was fined 20 per cent of his match fee, with the rest of the team fined 10 per cent of theirs.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup