|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2013|
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
With a brilliant unbeaten century, Martin Guptill led New Zealand to a convincing five-wicket win in the first NatWest one-day International. Guptill, who reached 103, his third ODI century, with his eighth four in addition to four sixes from 123 balls, had combined with Ross Taylor in a 120 run-partnership for the third wicket to put New Zealand well on course towards a modest target of 228.
New Zealand began their response to the England total poorly losing two wickets in the first over both falling to James Anderson without a run by either batsman. Luke Ronchi edged to third slip with the ball seaming away a little and two balls later Kane Williamson fell to a remarkable right-handed diving catch behind the stumps by Jos Butler.
But then came the reviving stand from 150 balls between Guptill and Taylor with both hitting respectively their 18th and 22nd ODI half centuries. Guptill reached his from 64 balls with a square drive to mid-wicket for his fifth four and his next two scoring shots, a four and a six took him to 60. Taylorís 50 came from a stylish square cut for his ninth four from 71 balls, before he inside-edged Anderson giving the bowler his third wicket for 21.
On 168 England claimed the fourth wicket with Grant Elliott playing-on to Graeme Swann for 28 while Guptill moved on to 78. When the fifth wicket fell on 185 with Brendon McCullumís dismissal Guptill was on 85. He continued with his fluent stroke-play to 99 and with the total tied on 227, he pulled Tim Bresnan to mid-wicket for four to end the match with 3.1 overs to spare.
Earlier, England had got off to a fairly good start after being asked to bat, scoring at the rate of 4.5 runs an over for the first ten overs before New Zealandís change in bowling took the early momentum away from the home side. Thereafter none of the batsmen were able to settle in for a big innings with four of them falling in their 30s.
Both opening batsman had scored freely to begin with particularly off Mitchell McClenaghan who was hit for 19 in his first three overs including two fours of consecutive loose balls to Alistair Cook which took the England captain quickly to 25.
Tim Southee and Williamson were the only names in the six-man New Zealand attack from the Test series which concluded earlier this week so convincingly in Englandís favour. Southee began the fall of England wickets claiming the first two wickets with the help of Ronchi behind the stumps. Ian Bell tried to drive a full length ball outside off stump and was held for 18 and in his next over, Southee accounted for Cook who went in similar fashion to his opening partner just as the England total reached 50.
Englandís highest stand of the innings followed with Jonathan Trott and Joe Root putting on 67 in 14 overs and just when it seemed they had revived the England innings with fluent strokes against five bowlers that the tourists had used up to that point, the third wicket fell. Root, who had been going well taking sharp singles and twos with Trott attempted a reverse sweep and missed the ball from Nathan McCullum.
England struggled for runs on the slow pitch with the touristsí controlled bowling particularly from Southee and McCullum. Only 42 runs came from the next twelve overs at a time when the middle order is usually expected to be engaged in a much faster rate of scoring. Trott tried to lift the pace in going for a big sweep shot off Nathan McCullum only to be held at mid-wicket for 37 from 53 balls which was the top score of the innings. The bowler had taken two for five in six balls.
Two runs later England were reduced to 126 for five with Eoin Morgan going down the pitch to McClenaghan and then seemed to be in two minds. It resulted in a hurried stroke which gave Ronchi his third catch of the innings. It was his debut for New Zealand having played international cricket previously for Australia on four occasions.
New Zealand brought on the off spinner Williamson for the 37th over and the change soon brought another wicket. In his second over he had Butler reverse sweeping and mistiming the shot for a catch at point. Chris Woakes meanwhile had been picking up runs steadily but was tempted into going for a big hit which ended into the hands of Guptill, the sweeper patrolling the cover area.
There was useful addition of runs from the tail-enders. Bresnan missed the ball in attempting a cross-bat shot at Southee to be bowled for 25 and that was 216 for eight and 15 runs from Swann helped to boost the total before he firmly drove the last ball, off McClenaghan, straight to mid-off. Southee was the pick of the bowlers with three for 37.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)