Martin Guptill’s historic century dented England’s Champions Trophy ambitions and guided New Zealand to an 86-run win here yesterday. The result means the visitors take an unassailable 2-0 lead into the final match at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Not since Sir Viv Richards wielded a willow on these shores has an English attack been treated with such merciless disdain. Somehow amid the carnage James Anderson took the two wickets he needed to join Darren Gough as England’s leading one-day wicket-taker, but the day belonged to Guptill.
The New Zealand opener’s undefeated 189 matched Sir Viv’s as the highest one-day score against England but the Kiwi took 15 fewer balls to break English bowlers.
To put both men’s efforts in context, only four batsman have scored more in 3,361 internationals. The legendary West Indian’s knock came at Old Trafford in 1984 and was more remarkable in that it made up the bulk of a total of just 272 when the next highest score was 26. Under the south coast sun, Guptill’s bat-carrying knock helped his side to a dizzying total of 359, their highest against England.
Wisden, the cricketing bible, ranks Richards’ knock as the finest one-day international innings of all time. It is unlikely Guptill’s will supplant it, not least because of the ample support he received from first Kane Williamson, then Ross Taylor and captain Brendon McCullum. All three shared in century partnerships with Guptill, McCullum helping him to add 118 runs off the last 50 balls.
Guptill’s gorging comes on the back of his 103 not out at Lord’s last Friday. With the two sides due to meet in Nottingham and again in the Champions Trophy group stages, the England captain Alastair Cook will be hoping that the 26-year-old’s purple patch turns yellow-bellied before then.
Cook at least got England’s reply off to a rapid start that raised hopes of a record one-day run chase, overtaking the 304 they hunted down against Pakistan in Karachi in 2000. Alongside his opening partner Ian Bell, Cook helped England race to 50 within eight overs before the strapping Kyle Mills rocked the England captain onto the back foot when he should have been forward.
With Bell at the crease, those who believe in history repeating itself still had hope. Twice before on this ground he has made international centuries. There was to be no repetition of that but there was a degree of farce to his dismissal for 25 from 32 balls. He stepped down the pitch to Doug Bracewell with menace but only succeeded in tamely looping the ball to mid-off. That brought together Joe Root and Jonathan Trott but not even Trott’s first one-day maximum outside of Wales could alter the fact that England were batting on a crease to nowhere.
The pair added 58 runs before Root went for one big shot too many and found long-on to hand Nathan McCullum a wicket. Trott clung on until the bitter end but his unbeaten 109 was a mere postscript.
It could have been so different. Just as at Lord’s, Guptill was dropped on 13; perhaps on the other side of the equator 13 is a lucky number. On that occasion the buttered fingers belonged to Tim Bresnan, yesterday it was Trott. On both occasions the bowler was Chris Woakes. There were early signs that England’s fielders had bloopers in them: two bits of sloppy fielding cost England five runs in the first three overs.
Anderson crashed through Luke Ronchi’s timber to erase the cost of those misfields and leave the visitors 12 for 1. At that point 359 seemed a long way off. But when Trott fumbled at midwicket, anything was possible. The unfortunate Woakes had been given a chance to redeem himself with the ball and with his fourth one, he thought he had the wicket that would have steeled brittle confidence but his county team-mate spilt the straightforward chance. His short ball – short on pace and bounce – may not have deserved a wicket but Woakes did not merit such an early blow.
Guptill did not look such a gift horse in the mouth. With all the talk of Twenty20-bred innovation and gym-honed levers, he and Williamson relied on a style of batting built on the classic foundations of timing and technique. For a man dressed all in black on a summer’s day, Williamson was playing one of the great unnoticed innings. He reached his half-century off 59 balls and looked like he could have quietly milked the English attack until the building site that hulks over the Northern End turns into the promised hotel. However, in an effort to get noticed he tied himself in knots against Graeme Swann and went for 55.
Taylor was his replacement at the crease and he carried on in a similar vein to Williamson bar one muscular swoop for six. He reached his half-century with a rapier cut off Bresnan that emboldened the New Zealand No 3. So much so that the next bowler in his sights was Anderson. A casual flicked six was his first salvo but Anderson struck back the next ball to go level with Gough. That only brought McCullum to the crease. And the rest, as they say, was history.
Rose bowl scoreboard
The Rose Bowl (One day): New Zealand beat England by 86 runs
New Zealand won toss
M J Guptill not out 189
155 balls 2 sixes 19 fours
†L Ronchi b Anderson 2
9 balls 0 sixes 0 fours
K S Williamson b Swann 55
63 balls 0 sixes 3 fours
L R P L Taylor c Woakes b Anderson 60
54 balls 2 sixes 3 fours
*B B McCullum not out 40
19 balls 2 sixes 3 fours
Extras (b4 lb4 w5) 13
Total (for 3, 50 overs) 359
Fall: 1-12, 2-132, 3-241.
Did not bat: G D Elliott, J E C Franklin, N L McCullum, D A J Bracewell, K D Mills, M J McClenaghan.
Bowling: J M Anderson 10-0-65-2, T T Bresnan 10-1-73-0, C R Woakes 7-0-49-0, J W Dernbach 10-0-87-0, J E Root 3-0-16-0, G P Swann 10-0-61-1.
*A N Cook b Mills 34
31 balls 0 sixes 5 fours
I R Bell c Franklin b Bracewell 25
32 balls 0 sixes 4 fours
I J L Trott not out 109
104 balls 1 sixes 5 fours
J E Root c Bracewell b N L McCullum 28
27 balls 0 sixes 1 fours
E J G Morgan c Ronchi b Elliott 21
23 balls 0 sixes 2 fours
†J C Buttler c Guptill b McClenaghan 2
3 balls 0 sixes 0 fours
C R Woakes c Ronchi b Williamson 13
15 balls 0 sixes 0 fours
T T Bresnan run out 0
2 balls 0 sixes 0 fours
G P Swann b Williamson 1
5 balls 0 sixes 0 fours
J M Anderson b McClenaghan 28
19 balls 0 sixes 4 fours
J W Dernbach c Mills b McClenaghan 2
5 balls 0 sixes 0 fours
Extras (lb3 w6 nb1) 10
Total (44.1 overs) 273
Fall: 1-50, 2-64, 3-122, 4-166, 5-169, 6-212, 7-213, 8-218, 9-265.
Bowling: M J McClenaghan 8.1-0-35-3, K D Mills 9-0-55-1, D A J Bracewell 8-1-55-1, N L McCullum 8-0-47-1, J E C Franklin 5-0-40-0, G D Elliott 2-0-13-1, K S Williamson 4-0-25-2.
Umpires: R J Bailey and S J Davis.