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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power