England Lions v New Zealand A, Tri-series, New Road August 12, 2014

Rutherford takes NZ A to tri-series success

19

New Zealand 225 for 3 (Rutherford 95, Devcich 49, Latham 48*) beat England Lions 255 for 8 (Bairstow 77, Smith 71, Henry 3-56) by 7 wickets D/L method
Scorecard

Abundant batting line-up or not, England Lions have not advanced their individual World Cup claims by the manner in which they have twice been dismantled by an experienced New Zealand A in the Royal London tri-series. In Bristol last Friday and Worcester today, four wickets have been lost without 50 on the board, inroads which brought New Zealand wins on both occasions and ensured a satisfying victory in the tournament.

If the Lions batsmen remain worthy of debate, this particular bowling attack is unlikely to detain the selectors when World Cup squads are finalised. Hamish Rutherford found them much to his taste, the only surprise being that he did not complete an untroubled century, falling five runs short when he was bowled on the charge, off-side drive in mind, by the left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, the best England bowler on show.

England Lions did well to escape to 255 for 8, but after a heavy shower, which trimmed the chase to 220 in 36 overs, New Zealand achieved their target with alacrity. Tom Latham, who struck a run-a-ball 48, finished matters by striking Tom Smith over the square leg rope with 21 balls to spare. With a home World Cup to inspire them, New Zealand can expect to field a competitive squad.

New Zealand victories are rarely marked by extravagant praise, but a downbeat presentation ceremony was low-key even for them. The Lions' defeat was suitably marked by the downcast tones of Ernie on the New Road public address. Ernie brings his own style to the most exciting of days, permanently sounding as if he is reading out details of his own funeral, an era which demands extravagant excitement having somehow passed him by.

New Zealand fielded a side boasting nine players with international experience - only Scott Kuggeleijn and Daryl Mitchell remain uncapped - and once again they played with efficiency worthy of their status, taking clinical advantage of a good toss as they made maximum use of helpful bowling conditions in the first hour.

This New Road pitch has been used three times in a week and produced more than 1,500 runs in the process. It impressed the Lions so much during their victory against Sri Lanka A that they encouraged the groundstaff to use it again. There was no reason to change that assessment as wickets fell. James Vince's unproductive series ended when he mistimed a pull to midwicket and then Matt Henry intervened in a manner that suggested it will not be long before he adds to his solitary ODI cap, won against India in Wellington earlier this year and where he bowled with eye-catching pace.

Henry trimmed Ravi Bopara's stumps, had James Taylor lbw and caused Jason Roy to edge to slip as he advanced down the pitch; Roy's England debut, if and when it comes, will surely be in T20. An impressive new-ball spell would have brought a fourth wicket, too, if Alex Hales, on 8, had been held at second slip by Dean Brownlie.

Just as he did in Bristol, it was Jonny Bairstow who reassembled England's fractured innings. Poor Ashes tour or not, he was unfairly rubbished in some quarters, and when he completed a third successive half-century by assertively sweeping Ish Sodhi's quicker ball, he had again played in a measured fashion that for a time seemed to have deserted him. His departure on 71 was unfortunate, a bottom-edged pull at a ball from Doug Bracwell that kept a little low and a catch down the leg side.

Smith must have thought his Lions days were behind him when he was dispensed with after a 2006-07 tour of Bangladesh, but nearly eight years later he has proved himself a mature cricketer. He provided restrained support for Bairstow before indulging in some late hitting with Toby Roland-Jones to give England's total a veneer of respectability. Henry's last over went for 18, the final boundary jumping up as it struck the rope and jolting awake a dozing spectator by striking him meaningfully on his sun hat.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 22many on August 15, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    Guptill has to play as also does Ryder....don't care what Hesson and co think , if NZ want to win the world cup, these two guys have to be included.

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    @William Agnew I have Anderson/Neesham together in brackets because I honestly don't see them both in the starting line-up unless the make Neesham opener. Guptill is not a slow scorer... there is a reason why he is only included in ODI/T20 is because he is so aggressive. His ODI 170 against England last time they were here is a perfect example of how devastating he can be.

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    @Andy parry why is anderson not a first choice pick just look at his odi batting average and strike rate. Neesham is the inferior odi batsmen/ all rounder. And after a long time bracewell takes a few wickets in bowler friendly conditions suddenly makes him odi material. Also in your top six there are three batsmen that will score slowly (Guptill, Williamson and Latham/Watling,). Guptill and Williamson are acceptable but not latham unless he is opening or watling in general.. He is a great test player but not limited overs player as he scores too slowly.

  • kiwi542 on August 14, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    @Andy_Parry Agree with your team. I'd agree with Latham over Ronchi. You got to have Boult in there, his partnership with southee is on its way too being the most dominant opening duo around, test and ODIs. I'd have him bowl 7-8 overs to start the innings and 2-3 around the power play, Southee to bowl 4-5 to start then swap with Mitchell. Southee and Vettori/Anderson to bowl the death, Vettori also in power plays. Would have Sodhi straight in there afer W.C, dont think hes quite ready yet. Henry, Neesham, Ronchi, NMac, Munro as reserves

  • StevieS on August 14, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    Andy Parry because he is a wicket taker and showed in the WI that he could bowl a tight line in shorter forms of the game.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    Why are people trying to push Trent Boult into ODI cricket. He is a great Test bowler but he is not known for his ODI prowess.

    My squad for the WC: 1.Guptil, 2.Ryder, 3.Williamson, 4.Taylor, 5.BMAC, 6.Latham//Watling (I can't decide on keeper), 7.Anderson/Neesham, 8.Southee, 9.Sodhi, 10.Mclenaghan, 11.Henry.

    I would give Sodhi a go as spinner and have NMac in the squad as reserve. As much as I respect Dan Vettori I don't think he will play for NZ again. Like Dan Carter for rugby his body cannot cope with it anymore.

    Keeper is a tough one. Everyone is putting Ronchi ahead as keeper, I can't choose between Latham and Watling. Latham is more agressive but we already have lots of that in the team. Watling brings on field leadership as he is showing on the A tour and when batting he is cool calm and collected.

    My reserves in the squad would be. Brownlie, Bracewell, NMac, Latham/Watling, Anderson/Neesham, Milne

  • 4seamers on August 14, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    Guptil, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Anderson, Neesham, Ronchi, McCullum, Southee, Henry, McClenaghan

  • 22many on August 14, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    Guptil, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder,Anderson,Neesham,Ronchi,Vettori,Bolt,Southee 50 over team in batting order.

  • Min2000 on August 13, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    This A team could have been even stronger had Milne been fit, and if Guptill and Neesham weren't in the Caribbean.

    Suddenly we have a large squad of players ready to play test or ODI matches. Maybe John Buchannan was worth his salary after all.

  • brusselslion on August 13, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Excellent performance by NZ. They look to have real strength in depth now, and must be one of the favourites for the World Cup (sorry guys, that's the kiss of death!).

    Despite this result, I'd have Hales, Roy, Bopara & Bairstow in the senior squad vs. India.

    @Shayne Harte: " ...(NZ) summers .. can be pretty wet ...". That must be the most understated remark ever! I was on the East coast of the South Island in 1994; I finally dried out yesterday!

  • 22many on August 15, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    Guptill has to play as also does Ryder....don't care what Hesson and co think , if NZ want to win the world cup, these two guys have to be included.

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    @William Agnew I have Anderson/Neesham together in brackets because I honestly don't see them both in the starting line-up unless the make Neesham opener. Guptill is not a slow scorer... there is a reason why he is only included in ODI/T20 is because he is so aggressive. His ODI 170 against England last time they were here is a perfect example of how devastating he can be.

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    @Andy parry why is anderson not a first choice pick just look at his odi batting average and strike rate. Neesham is the inferior odi batsmen/ all rounder. And after a long time bracewell takes a few wickets in bowler friendly conditions suddenly makes him odi material. Also in your top six there are three batsmen that will score slowly (Guptill, Williamson and Latham/Watling,). Guptill and Williamson are acceptable but not latham unless he is opening or watling in general.. He is a great test player but not limited overs player as he scores too slowly.

  • kiwi542 on August 14, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    @Andy_Parry Agree with your team. I'd agree with Latham over Ronchi. You got to have Boult in there, his partnership with southee is on its way too being the most dominant opening duo around, test and ODIs. I'd have him bowl 7-8 overs to start the innings and 2-3 around the power play, Southee to bowl 4-5 to start then swap with Mitchell. Southee and Vettori/Anderson to bowl the death, Vettori also in power plays. Would have Sodhi straight in there afer W.C, dont think hes quite ready yet. Henry, Neesham, Ronchi, NMac, Munro as reserves

  • StevieS on August 14, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    Andy Parry because he is a wicket taker and showed in the WI that he could bowl a tight line in shorter forms of the game.

  • on August 14, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    Why are people trying to push Trent Boult into ODI cricket. He is a great Test bowler but he is not known for his ODI prowess.

    My squad for the WC: 1.Guptil, 2.Ryder, 3.Williamson, 4.Taylor, 5.BMAC, 6.Latham//Watling (I can't decide on keeper), 7.Anderson/Neesham, 8.Southee, 9.Sodhi, 10.Mclenaghan, 11.Henry.

    I would give Sodhi a go as spinner and have NMac in the squad as reserve. As much as I respect Dan Vettori I don't think he will play for NZ again. Like Dan Carter for rugby his body cannot cope with it anymore.

    Keeper is a tough one. Everyone is putting Ronchi ahead as keeper, I can't choose between Latham and Watling. Latham is more agressive but we already have lots of that in the team. Watling brings on field leadership as he is showing on the A tour and when batting he is cool calm and collected.

    My reserves in the squad would be. Brownlie, Bracewell, NMac, Latham/Watling, Anderson/Neesham, Milne

  • 4seamers on August 14, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    Guptil, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Anderson, Neesham, Ronchi, McCullum, Southee, Henry, McClenaghan

  • 22many on August 14, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    Guptil, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder,Anderson,Neesham,Ronchi,Vettori,Bolt,Southee 50 over team in batting order.

  • Min2000 on August 13, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    This A team could have been even stronger had Milne been fit, and if Guptill and Neesham weren't in the Caribbean.

    Suddenly we have a large squad of players ready to play test or ODI matches. Maybe John Buchannan was worth his salary after all.

  • brusselslion on August 13, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Excellent performance by NZ. They look to have real strength in depth now, and must be one of the favourites for the World Cup (sorry guys, that's the kiss of death!).

    Despite this result, I'd have Hales, Roy, Bopara & Bairstow in the senior squad vs. India.

    @Shayne Harte: " ...(NZ) summers .. can be pretty wet ...". That must be the most understated remark ever! I was on the East coast of the South Island in 1994; I finally dried out yesterday!

  • Sir_Francis on August 13, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    I just noticed Hamish Rutherford has the exact same average as his dad. What are the odds? Although Ken ended up playing 4 times as many tests.

  • kiwi542 on August 13, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Looking good for the world cup. Building well for the world cup. Depth a plenty. This is my side for the world cup. 1.Guptill/Latham. finding it hard to pick between the 2, maybe Guptill just for his xp 2.Ryder. We need jeffy, he seems to be off the booze in essex. if not Latham. 3.Kane. 4.Ross 5.Brendon 6.Anderson 7.Ronchi 8.Neesham/Mclenaghan 9.Vetori/N Mcullum. Preferably Vetori but if not N.Mccullum 10.Southee 11.Boult Can't quite decide wether to have Neesham or Mclenaghan in. Leaning towards Mclenaghan. I feel 20 overs between Ryder and Anderson and Neesham is abit of a risk.

  • Patchmaster on August 12, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    ENG have an embarressment of riches when it comes to resources and money, but this NZ team is steely, tough and talented. Money can't buy that........

  • CodandChips on August 12, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    The inconsistency of the Lions is so frustrating.

    As I've said before I hope England are brave with ODI selection for the India series. Try something completely different, then combine successful players from that series with success of the tried and tested.

    Bairstow looks like he's improved his batting. Hopefully he's more ready to play international cricket. How's his keeping?

    Tom Smith could be a useful cricketer given Willey struggled this series and Woakes and Stokes are not white-ball cricketers.

    Since when was Roland-Jones in the squad. I like him, but as a potential test player. Does he even play regular white-ball cricket for Middlesex?

    Well done New Zealand. Your ODI side is one of the strongest around, without this talented A side. Also with home conditions, they must have a strong chance this world cup.

  • on August 12, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    SDHM nothing compared to England though, NZ gets more than 7hrs day light in winter and our summers are a lot warmer, although some can be pretty wet depending on what weather system comes through. Glad Rutherford got some runs, hopefully he can keep it going.

  • on August 12, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    ColinMunro, Tom Lathan and Matt Henry must be in the ODI squad

  • SDHM on August 12, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    @wapuser - you ever been to New Zealand? It's pretty cold and wet there too! :P

  • on August 12, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Much smaller player pool than England and Sri Lanka,in cold and wet English conditions also.Outstanding effort from NZ's youngsters, England would've definitely fancied their chances to win this tri-series but in truth,NZ A won all their matches comfortably.

  • redscorpion111 on August 12, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Well played NZ A....every single player performed well in this series.....to beat ENG A n SL A that too in ENGLAND is good achievement from NZ BENCHSTRENGTH.....complete team performance....few headaches for selectors....as many plus points from this series win.....

    Rutherford,Latham,Henry,grandhomme,Munro ,catch d eye most.....

    Luv NZ a lottttttttt

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  • redscorpion111 on August 12, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Well played NZ A....every single player performed well in this series.....to beat ENG A n SL A that too in ENGLAND is good achievement from NZ BENCHSTRENGTH.....complete team performance....few headaches for selectors....as many plus points from this series win.....

    Rutherford,Latham,Henry,grandhomme,Munro ,catch d eye most.....

    Luv NZ a lottttttttt

  • on August 12, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Much smaller player pool than England and Sri Lanka,in cold and wet English conditions also.Outstanding effort from NZ's youngsters, England would've definitely fancied their chances to win this tri-series but in truth,NZ A won all their matches comfortably.

  • SDHM on August 12, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    @wapuser - you ever been to New Zealand? It's pretty cold and wet there too! :P

  • on August 12, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    ColinMunro, Tom Lathan and Matt Henry must be in the ODI squad

  • on August 12, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    SDHM nothing compared to England though, NZ gets more than 7hrs day light in winter and our summers are a lot warmer, although some can be pretty wet depending on what weather system comes through. Glad Rutherford got some runs, hopefully he can keep it going.

  • CodandChips on August 12, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    The inconsistency of the Lions is so frustrating.

    As I've said before I hope England are brave with ODI selection for the India series. Try something completely different, then combine successful players from that series with success of the tried and tested.

    Bairstow looks like he's improved his batting. Hopefully he's more ready to play international cricket. How's his keeping?

    Tom Smith could be a useful cricketer given Willey struggled this series and Woakes and Stokes are not white-ball cricketers.

    Since when was Roland-Jones in the squad. I like him, but as a potential test player. Does he even play regular white-ball cricket for Middlesex?

    Well done New Zealand. Your ODI side is one of the strongest around, without this talented A side. Also with home conditions, they must have a strong chance this world cup.

  • Patchmaster on August 12, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    ENG have an embarressment of riches when it comes to resources and money, but this NZ team is steely, tough and talented. Money can't buy that........

  • kiwi542 on August 13, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Looking good for the world cup. Building well for the world cup. Depth a plenty. This is my side for the world cup. 1.Guptill/Latham. finding it hard to pick between the 2, maybe Guptill just for his xp 2.Ryder. We need jeffy, he seems to be off the booze in essex. if not Latham. 3.Kane. 4.Ross 5.Brendon 6.Anderson 7.Ronchi 8.Neesham/Mclenaghan 9.Vetori/N Mcullum. Preferably Vetori but if not N.Mccullum 10.Southee 11.Boult Can't quite decide wether to have Neesham or Mclenaghan in. Leaning towards Mclenaghan. I feel 20 overs between Ryder and Anderson and Neesham is abit of a risk.

  • Sir_Francis on August 13, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    I just noticed Hamish Rutherford has the exact same average as his dad. What are the odds? Although Ken ended up playing 4 times as many tests.

  • brusselslion on August 13, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Excellent performance by NZ. They look to have real strength in depth now, and must be one of the favourites for the World Cup (sorry guys, that's the kiss of death!).

    Despite this result, I'd have Hales, Roy, Bopara & Bairstow in the senior squad vs. India.

    @Shayne Harte: " ...(NZ) summers .. can be pretty wet ...". That must be the most understated remark ever! I was on the East coast of the South Island in 1994; I finally dried out yesterday!