New Zealand 213-6 (37 Overs) England 242-7 (50 Overs): New Zealand win the series as England are outclassed

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The Independent Online

Out thought, out played and overall outclassed. Rain brought a premature and unsatisfactory end to last nights series deciding fifth one-dayer between New Zealand and England but Paul Collingwood’s side could have no complaints about the result of this match or the series.

England gave themselves an outside chance of defending a modest total of 242 and levelling the series when they took three wickets in seven balls to reduce the Black Caps to 197-6. And there was also a strong caught behind appeal against Daniel Vettori when the deficit had been reduced by a single run. But the New Zealand captain survived and when rain arrived his side were on 213-6, 34 runs ahead according to Duckworth/Lewis. The rain departed making 15 minutes of play still possible but by then New Zealand had passed England’s revised score, thus completing a four wicket victory.

New Zealand’s run chase was made easy by another blistering opening partnership between Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder. Both could have been caught before the partnership had reached 50 but they made the most of their fortune by pulverising England’s lacklustre attack to all parts. The 100 partnership was brought up in just the 11th over.

McCullum highlighted why he was the 13th most expensive player - $700,000 – at the Indian Premier League auction, smashing 77 off 43 balls. Much of his strokeplay was savage with the ball being sent flying in to the stands on six occasions. James Anderson took the brunt of his power being carved for three maximums in an over.

The display took McCullums tally of one-day sixes to 64. England’s top three batsmen have mustered just 13. McCullum finally fell having a wild heave at Collingwood but by then the game was New Zealand’s. Only 125 runs were needed off 34 overs.

Ryan Sidebottom breathed life in to England by taking wickets with consecutive balls, after Scott Styris had thrown his wicket away again, this time to Anderson, and had the Vettori appeal been upheld it could have been interesting. But umpire Billy Bowden kept his crooked finger in his pocket, much to the annoyance of Collingwood and his team. Ross Taylor continued to bat with style and a couple of boundaries ensured that New Zealand maintained their winning position before the rain arrived.

England’s innings was dominated by a late flurry of powerful hitting from the flashing blades of Luke Wright and Dimitri Mascarenhas. Wright smashed 47 off 40 balls whilst Mascarenhas bludgeoned 29 off 12. The pair struck five sixes as 65 runs were collected off the final five overs of the innings. The display made much of England’s earlier batting seem inadequate.

Wright and Mascarenhas were aided by Vettori, the New Zealand captain, who allowed Jesse Ryder, a part-time medium pacer, to bowl three of the final five overs. Ryder’s overs leaked 45 runs.

England were becalmed at the start of their innings following the early loss of Phil Mustard for two. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell are fine players but neither is noted for hitting the ball over the top and making the most of the early fielding restrictions. Bell fell attempting to get after the bowling when he was caught at long-off, whilst Cook continued to play the anchor role.

The introduction of spin slowed England’s run-rate further. Vettori is a class act and he soon trapped Cook plumb in front. How England must have wished they had picked a spinner instead of an all seam attack. Vettori’s success encouraged the captain to give Jeetan Patel a bowl and the off-spinner tempted Kevin Pietersen to slog a catch to deep mid-wicket.

Vettori then bamboozled Collingwood. England’s number five advanced down the pitch and was comprehensively beaten by a ball that bounced and left him. McCullum did the rest. The dismissal of Collingwood completed a dismal period for England with their three main batsmen falling to soft dismissals.

England looked set to fall short of 200 as Owais Shah chiselled out runs but the mood suddenly changed when Wright slogged Styris for a huge six. Wright and Mascaren has batted fearlessly, it would be a state of mind the top order need to adopt too if England are to consistently post match winning totals.