World Twenty20: England stroll home with the Wright stuff

Pietersen's replacement makes his mark with Morgan after Finn's knee has New Zealand up in arms


England may not yet be back on track, but first things first. They managed yesterday to avoid going completely off the rails. By romping to victory, with a hint of controversy, against New Zealand in the second of their Super 8 matches in the World Twenty20 the retention of the title remains possible.

There is still the slight matter of beating Sri Lanka tomorrow in their final stage match. Ominously the hosts demonstrated their form with a nine-wicket win over West Indies yesterday. If England do fail to win that match they will be dependent on results elsewhere to qualify for the semi-finals by net run-rate.

But they should be much uplifted by yesterday's triumph. After two successive bereft performances, which seemed to be the exact opposite of what peaking for a tournament is about, they found some kind of salvation.

There were seven balls left, or the equivalent of a light year in this format, when England won by six wickets. The key partnership in overhauling New Zealand's total of 148 for 6 was between Luke Wright, the direct replacement for, if not the replica of, Kevin Pietersen in this tournament, and Eoin Morgan, on whom relies any realistic aspiration of becoming champions again.

The pair put on 89 from 60 balls for the third wicket, which all but took the match beyond the Kiwis. Wright made 76 from 43 balls with five fours and five sixes. Elegance was not the first adjective that sprang to mind for his assault, crashing the ball straight and smearing it powerfully over midwicket.

England's target was well within reach because they had contained their opponents. It was a pity that the superb bowling of Steve Finn in achieving this was overshadowed by his proclivity for knocking off the bails with his knee as he runs in.

England made light of it, New Zealand did not. It was decided before the competition in discussions with the ECB that if Finn erred he would be given one warning, with a dead ball called thereafter. He transgressed four times in all yesterday.

Ross Taylor, New Zealand's captain, said: "I disagree with the rule, it's a rule for one person. I think it cost us eight runs and a wicket. Unless the batsman gets out you should just carry on. It should be a dead ball once a wicket happens."

It is mildly embarrassing for England and a pity that it took the edge off an emphatic win. As their captain, Stuart Broad, said: "The number one point of it is that Finny's got to try to stop doing it.

"Our bowling coach, David Saker, is pulling out whatever hair he has left because of it – it's up to those two to sort it out. But that's the first time it hasn't cost us."

Finn was superb otherwise and his bowling up front set the tone for England. That he removed the two most dangerous sluggers in Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum always made it possible that New Zealand would score fewer than the pitch demanded. England, who opened the bowling with the 21-year-old spinner Danny Briggs after they left out Samit Patel, were usually in control. A late flurry in which James Franklin was outstanding made the target competitive, no more.

Wright is what he is. He already has two fifties in the competition after scoring 99 not out in the opening match against Afghanistan and was no doubt grateful yesterday not to have to walk in after the loss of a wicket in the first over.

England managed to reach the fourth yesterday before Craig Kieswetter was bowled trying desperately to find some way to attack, and to find some form. He is a worry. When Alex Hales was bowled by Nathan McCullum there was still plenty of work to do.

If it was Wright whose club battered most of the runs, it was Morgan who managed the tempo of affairs. When the required rate reached nine an over with 11 overs left he looked as though he might take tiffin before dealing with it. Both were out before the end going for glory but by that time the result was not in doubt. Something similar will be needed tomorrow and for the next week.

Sir Lanka's victory have been worrying for Broad and his team. The hosts restricted West Indies, who had easily beaten England three days ago, to 129 for 5. Sri Lanka overhauled that total for the loss of only one wicket thanks to Mahela Jayawardene (65) and Kumar Sangakkara (39) who put on 108 together.

If England beat Sri Lanka and New Zealand beat West Indies, England and Sri Lanka qualify. If England beat Sri Lanka and West Indies beat New Zealand, three teams will have four points and the qualifiers will be decided by net run-rate. If England lose, they could still qualify if New Zealand beat West Indies with three teams on two points each, separated by net run-rate.

Pallekele scoreboard

New Zealand won toss

New Zealand


M J Guptill lbw b Finn 5/0/1/6

R J Nicol c Bairstow b Swann 11/0/1/15

†B B McCullum c Wright b Finn 10/0/2/10

K S Williamson c Kieswetter b Briggs 17/0/1/23

*L R P Taylor c Hales b Finn 22/0/2/12

J E C Franklin run out 40/2/4/33

N L McCullum not out 16/2/0/10

D A J Bracewell not out 2/0/0/1

Extras (b3, lb7, w4, nb1) 15

Total (for 6, 20 overs) 148

Fall 1-7, 2-20, 3-42, 4-67, 5-107, 6-146.

Did not bat D L Vettori, T G Southee, K D Mills.

Bowling Briggs 4-0-36-1; Finn 4-0-16-3; Bresnan 4-0-29-0; Swann 4-0-20-1; Broad 4-0-37-0.



†C Kieswetter b Vettori 4/0/0/14

A D Hales b McCullum 22/0/3/15

L J Wright c Taylor b Bracewell 76/5/5/43

E J G Morgan c Bracewell b Mills 30/1/1/31

J C Buttler not out 5/0/0/8

J M Bairstow not out 5/1/2/4

Extras (lb3, w4) 7

Total (for 4, 18.5 overs) 149

Fall 1-21, 2-38, 3-127, 4-142.

Did not bat T T Bresnan, *S C J Broad, G P Swann, D R Briggs, S T Finn.

Bowling Mills 4-0-23-1; Southee 2-0-32-0; Vettori 4-0-20-1; N L McCullum 4-0-22-1; Nicol 3-0-29-0; Franklin 1-0-12-0; D A J Bracewell 0.5-0-8-1.

Umpires Asad Rauf (Pak) and S J A Taufel (Aus).

TV Umpire S J Davies (Aus).

Match referee J Srinath (Ind).

Man of the match L J Wright (Eng).

England win by 6 wkts

How England can qualify

If England beat Sri Lanka and New Zealand beat West Indies, England and Sri Lanka qualify. If England beat Sri Lanka and West Indies beat New Zealand, three teams will have four points and the qualifiers will be decided by net run-rate. If England lose, they could still qualify if New Zealand beat West Indies with three teams on two points each, separated by net run-rate.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own