New Zealand 318-7 England 260-8 (NZ win by 58 runs): Mission impossible looms for England in finals scramble

England are left facing the prospect of performing a feat they have not come close to completing in Australia this winter following their latest failure in the Commonwealth Bank one-day series. The 58-run defeat to New Zealand yesterday leaves Andrew Flintoff's demoralised side needing to beat Australia in Sydney on Friday if they are to retain any realistic hope of reaching the finals.

England now sit rooted to the bottom of the table five points behind New Zealand and with a far inferior run-rate. A comprehensive bonus-point win over New Zealand in Brisbane on 6 February could bring England level with the Black Caps but the miserable batting displays in Adelaide, where the tourists were dismissed for 120 and 110, mean that they need to defeat Ricky Ponting's side.

It was England's bowling and fielding, the two areas of their cricket that have been respectable amid this one-day débâcle, that let them down at the WACA. Flintoff's inexperienced attack conceded 22 wides and three no-balls during New Zealand's total of 318 for 7, their highest against England. The fielders failed to give the bowlers the support they needed, fumbling around like a drunk looking for the light switch in the middle of the night.

Lou Vincent and Ross Taylor, with 76 and 71, gave New Zealand the perfect platform for a late onslaught and Oram did not disappoint as 65 runs were added in the final five overs of the innings. Oram entered the series with a one-day batting average of 18 but in his past three innings he has scored 86, 101 not out and an unbeaten 54. The left-hander's 241 runs have come off just 194 balls, with no assault being fiercer than that witnessed yesterday where his final 35 runs came off 10 balls. A lumbering Chris Tremlett suffered the most. After an inauspicious fielding display, the 6ft 8in fast bowler was hacked for 22 runs in his final over. Flintoff, who had an ordinary day with the ball too, then went for 16 in the last over.

It would be unkind to lambast Tremlett and Liam Plunkett ­ replacements for the injured James Anderson and Jon Lewis ­ for the way in which they bowled because neither has played a great deal of cricket this winter and both are very young. Even so it was still disappointing to see the pair send down as many wides as they did in lacklustre opening spells, and make basic errors in the field.

The pair were not the only ones to be exposed in the field as New Zealand ran England ragged. Needless overthrows were conceded, catches were dropped, singles were pinched far too easily and the energy level was low. Panesar attempted to liven things up during a fine spell of bowling, his best of the series, but England looked like what they are ­ a beaten team devoid of confidence. Panesar virtually booked his World Cup place by taking 2 for 35 on a helpful pitch. He bowled with guile and control, and deserved even better figures. He was the only England bowler New Zealand played with respect.

Ed Joyce and Ian Bell gave England a glimmer of hope. Joyce, promoted to opener to ease the suffering for the out-of-form Andrew Strauss, played some lovely shots during his 66 but the manner of the left-hander's dismissal ­ brilliantly run out by a diving one-handed pick-up and flick from Vincent at mid-wicket ­ highlighted the difference between the sides.

Strauss and Paul Collingwood scratched around before perishing and when Flintoff was bowled behind his legs by the excellent Daniel Vettori the game was New Zealand's. Paul Nixon made 49 as England attempted to reach 254, the total that deprived New Zealand of a bonus point. England seemed pleased with achieving the feat. How far have their expectations dropped this winter? Australia must be quaking.

Allan Border last night criticised Kevin Pietersen for leaving the tour so quickly after breaking his rib in the opening match of the tri-series. The former Australia captain said Pietersen ought to have stayed if there was any chance he could help his team into the finals.

Pietersen had his rib broken by a delivery from Glenn McGrath at the MCG on 12 January. An X-ray revealed a fracture that would keep him out for up to five weeks and he was sent home.

However, Border said Pietersen acted too hastily. "He was on the plane before the X-ray came back," Border said. "If he's got a broken rib, fair enough, but it wasn't displaced broken, it was just cracked, and given two weeks he could be playing. With England a chance to scrape into the finals and he a key man. Too quick on to the plane for my liking."

Scoreboard from Perth

New Zealand won the toss

New Zealand

L Vincent c Dalrymple b Plunkett 76

S P Fleming lbw b Plunkett 15

P G Fulton c Nixon b Plunkett 15

R L Taylor c Panesar b Collingwood 71

C D McMillan st Nixon b Panesar 11

J D P Oram not out 54

B B McCullum c Strauss b Panesar 19

J E C Franklin c Plunkett b Tremlett 9

D L Vettori not out 11

Extras (lb12 w22 nb3) 37

Total (for 7, 50 overs) 318

Fall: 1-32 2-53 3-190 4-213 5-219 6-246 7-268.

Did not bat: J S Patel, S E Bond.

Bowling: Plunkett 9-0-54-3; Tremlett 10-0-72-1; Flintoff 10-0-66-0; Panesar 10-2-35-2; Dalrymple 5-0-43-0; Collingwood 6-0-36-1.

England

E C Joyce run out 66

M B Loye c Fleming b Franklin 15

I R Bell c Fleming b Patel 31

A J Strauss st McCullum b Vettori 12

P D Collingwood c Fleming b McMillan 17

A Flintoff b Vettori 13

J W M Dalrymple c Franklin b McMillan 14

P A Nixon c Oram b Bond 49

L E Plunkett not out 25

Extras (b1 lb2 w8 nb7) 18

Total 8 wkts (50 overs) 260

Fall: 1-27 2-99 3-123 4-136 5-156 6-162 7-184 8-260.

Did not bat: C T Tremlett, M S Panesar.

Bowling: Franklin 8-1-45-1; Bond 10-0-58-1; Oram 5-0-23-0; Patel 10-0-53-1; Vettori 10-0-40-2; McMillan 7-1-38-2.

New Zealand beat England by 58 runs

Man of the match: L Vincent.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and SJ Davis (Aus).

P/W/L/T/NR/Pts/RR

Australia 6/6/0/0/0/27/1.18

NZ 6/2/4/0/0/9/0.07

England 6/1/5/0/0/4/-1.17

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital