England battle back to tie thriller

At the end of the 46th over Luke Wright must have felt that, bar the odd piece of fielding, his involvement in this game was over. Then Paul Collingwood, his captain, tapped the Sussex all-rounder on the shoulder to inform him that he was required to bowl the final over of this thrilling encounter.

When Wright finally got his hands on the ball New Zealand, requiring 341 for an unexpected and remarkable victory, were only seven runs short of their target. In such a tense situation nerves can often get the better of an experienced player, let alone a youngster playing in just his third one-day international, but Wright held his game together superbly producing a magnificent over that conceded just six runs to earn England a tie.

England could have even won the game with the final ball of the match had Collingwood’s diving underarm throw from gully hit the stumps. But the ball missed by millimetres, allowing New Zealand to scamper the single that ensured they cannot be beaten in the series. The result still leaves England with plenty to play for; victory in Christchurch on Saturday would allow them to draw level at 2-2 in the five match series.

Few sides can have left a game as delighted as England having scored so many runs and failed to win, but for 43 overs of New Zealand’s run chase a victory for the hosts had seemed inevitable. The combination of excellent batting, especially from Jamie How who scored a brilliant 139, indifferent bowling, a pristine pitch and small boundaries square of the wicket meant that the Black Caps were always on target to pass the third highest one-day total England have ever posted.

But the nature of the game changed completely when Scott Styris, on 20, slogged the admirable Ryan Sidebottom to James Anderson at long on. Forty runs were needed off 39 balls with seven wickets in hand when Styris played his irresponsible shot. New Zealand had all but won the game and his error allowed England back in the match.

Kevin Pietersen then ran out the out of form Peter Fulton athletically at mid-wicket and the same man, fielding at extra cover, caught the dangerous Jacob Oram. Suddenly New Zealand had lost three wickets in three overs and England were fancying their chances.

New Zealand could not get How on strike and Daniel Vettori was struggling to get the bowling away, especially when facing Anderson, who had a poor day at the office. The first two balls of Wright’s over brought singles and against the third a two was scampered, leaving the Black Caps requiring three off three balls.

How took a single before Vettori smashed Wright’s fifth ball to Anderson at mid-off. How set off for a single but was sent back by his captain and was beaten by a direct hit from the fielder. With two needed Vettori slogged at another well-directed yorker and the ball dribbled to gully off his pad but Collingwood just failed to take his chance for glory.

Few expected New Zealand to get close to England’s massive total at the half way stage. England’s batting in Wellington and Hamilton had been pathetic but here it was perfect.

Alastair Cook and Phil Mustard batted beautifully putting on 158 for the first wicket, the pairs previous highest partnership was 43. Mustard was the aggressor making 83, his highest score for England. Cook showed his class too scoring an excellent 69, but the pair fell in consecutive balls to Jesse Ryder. Ian Bell and Pietersen kept the scoring rate high with 43 and 50 respectively but a swashbuckling unbeaten 54 by Collingwood allowed England to post such a daunting total.

Collingwood hit six huge sixes over a small leg-side boundary in a 24 ball half century, the fastest by an England batsman. In all England struck ten sixes in their innings, a record number for them in a one-dayer. It should have been enough to win them the match but New Zealand’s inadequacies make the trip to Christchurch very worthwhile.

Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen