|Ground:||Kennington Oval, Kennington|
|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||MJ Guptill, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor, EJG Morgan, AD Hales|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2015|
By Andy Jalil at Kia Oval
New Zealand level series in second ODI
London For the second time in three days the two sides have produced a memorable game. Following the first ODI, the second has seen another batting feast which brought the highest aggregate of runs in an ODI in England. With rain interrupting play during an exciting run chase, the resumption brought the D/L method into play which set England a farcical target of 34 from 2.1 overs with New Zealand inevitably emerging winners by 13 runs.
From the start New Zealand went about their task intent on keeping the tag they had gained during the World Cup of being a fine side. The desire to avenge the overwhelming defeat they suffered in the first match would have been uppermost on their mind as they kept halting Englands progress at stages when they seemed to be on track in the chase of 399 for a win.
Englands opening stand of 85 laid a solid foundation with Alex Hales scoring his maiden ODI half-century with 42 of his 54 runs coming from boundaries. After his and Joe Roots wicket fell reducing England to 100 for three, England hit 159 for the next two wickets. Captain Eoin Morgan dominated the fifth wicket stand with Jos Buttler with 96 coming in the stand from just 64 balls. Morgan followed his century in the previous match with a superbly aggressive innings of 88 from only 47 balls which was embellished with six sixes and six fours.
He had put England well on target but just after the next two wickets fell in a space of one run reducing the home side to 275 for seven, Liam Plunkett with 44 from 30 balls and Adil Rashid, 34 from 26, brought England back in their chase of the target only for rain to stop play with the two batsmen in full cry.
But both fell in one over, after Plunkett, Rashid was held with an incredibly combined catch. Tim Southee initially held the ball but as his momentum was taking him over the boundary he threw the ball back for Trent Boult, who had followed him, to complete the act. That was virtually the end for England and with the last two wickets that fell Nathan McCullum had three for 86.
Earlier, after decided to make first use of a belter of a pitch, New Zealand put on 61 from only 7.2 overs for the opening stand. Brendon McCullums innings was short but typically aggressive with 32 of his 39 runs coming from boundaries. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson kept up the scoring rate but having brought up his 23rd ODI half century Guptill played an ambitious pull shot from outside off stump and was held at short mid-wicket.
It was the third wicket stand between Williamson and Ross Taylor that gave the innings a solid base. Williamson played his shots which were a combination of powerful hits and wristy strokes. After reaching his 17th ODI fifty from 52 balls he went for the big hits taking his score to 76 including 15 in an over off Rashid. The stand was broken when Williamson, on 93 from 88 balls, was held at mid-on.
Taylor who was on 43 having been dropped on 40 at short cover off Ben Stokes at Williamsons dismissal brought up his 31st ODI fifty in style with a six off Rashid and in the next over he hit his second six in five balls, to backward point, off Stokes. A quick-fire stand of 72 in just 35 balls between Taylor and Grant Elliott took the total past 300 before Elliott departed with 32 off 15 balls. Taylor, who was on 80 at the time, went on to 94 with a lovely square cut off Finn.
Yet another hard-hitting stand came from Taylor and Luke Ronchi during which Taylor reached his 13th ODI century and remained unbeaten on 119 from 96 balls. Meanwhile New Zealand had lost the fifth wicket on 352 when Ronchi, on 33 from 15 balls, top edged to the wicketkeeper. He had hit three sixes and two fours in his brief but explosive innings.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)