England v NZ, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Pallekele

Champions hope to avoid knockout blow

The Preview by Alan Gardner

September 28, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

September 29, 2012
Start time 3.30pm local (1000 GMT/1100 BST)

Brendon McCullum prepares to send the ball into orbit, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Pallekele, September 27, 2012
England's bowlers will have to tame the tournament's leading run-scorer, Brendon McCullum © ICC/Getty
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Big Picture

Group 1 of the Super Eights may be a collection of runners-up but second-best is an accurate summary of England and New Zealand's performances so far. After this match, one team is going to be propping up the group and, depending on the result of Sri Lanka versus West Indies, potentially checking the departures timetable from Bandaranaike International.

Of the two, New Zealand should enter the match in better fettle, having scrapped like cornered kiwis in their exhilarating Super Over defeat against the tournament hosts. They also pushed Pakistan - fast turning into one of the favourites - all the way in the group stage and in Brendon McCullum they have the World T20's leading run-scorer. By contrast, England made their lowest T20I score against India in Colombo and then followed that up by ushering Johnson Charles to his best showing in all senior cricket, and West Indies to a first win.

Unsurprisingly, England's green (not to mention KP-free) batting order has been the problem. Stuart Broad was explicit in blaming the batsmen after the failure to chase 180 against West Indies and first-over performances of 0 for 1, 2 for 1 and 0 for 2 in their three games have given England more of a stop than a start. If they can get through the first six balls, one crumb of comfort may be the fact that New Zealand's slow bowlers are of the orthodox finger-spin variety.

For New Zealand, the challenge is to convert the disappointment of two close defeats into match-winning momentum. The Black Caps are often dark horses but they have still tended to fall before the final fence. Their only T20I win against England came during the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, when they progressed to the semi-finals; the teams also met in the 2010 Super Eights, when England went on to lift the trophy. Of those two precedents, a repeat of the former looks more likely than the latter.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

England LLWWL
New Zealand LLWWL

Watch out for

The sceptics have increasingly begun to circle Craig Kieswetter's name at the top of the order with red ink. Having not made a duck his first 21 T20I innings, Kieswetter has picked up two in three matches at this tournament. His anxiety to play the six-hitting blunderbuss, with Alex Hales a more subtle opening partner, appears to have clouded Kieswetter's mind - he has made four of his six single-figure scores this year - while there is also concern about the number of dot balls he faces. Needs a big innings.

Daniel Vettori has had a quiet World T20 so far, with one wicket at a cost of 83 runs and a 16-ball 18 when promoted to No. 4 as a pinch hitter against Pakistan. His experience and economy (Vettori's rate of 5.63 is among the most miserly in T20 internationals) mean he remains a valuable member of the side and one who can remember what it is like to beat England, having played in Durban five years ago. England's much-discussed uncertainty about how to tackle spin bowling adds further spice.

Team news

England set a lot of store by continuity and, even if they didn't, their options are limited. Ravi Bopara's batting form is unlikely to have improved while carrying the drinks and replacing Kieswetter with Michael Lumb at opener would be a gamble that would also require either Jonny Bairstow or Jos Buttler to take over the wicketkeeping duties.

England (possible) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Stuart Broad (capt), 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach.

New Zealand might be tempted to give Ronnie Hira a run-out, in light of the knockout matches being played in spin-friendly Colombo. His left-arm spin may not be exotic, and would replicate Vettori's angle of attack, but after the gentle welcome England gave West Indies' Samuel Badree it could be a tempting option.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Rob Nicol, 3 Brendon McCullum (wk), 4 Ross Taylor (capt), 5 James Franklin, 6 Kane Williamson, 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Daniel Vettori, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Kyle Mills.

Pitch and conditions

Broad described the Pallekele pitch as a "batter's paradise" after the first round of Super Eight games there, with minimal spin or seam movement and plenty of pace. Saturday is expected to be clear, which should help the runs flow again.

Stats and trivia

  • England have won four out of five T20 internationals against New Zealand, their only defeat coming at the 2007 World T20
  • Graeme Swann needs two wickets to become the fourth man - and first non-Pakistani - to reach 50 in T20Is


"We back the guys up there [at the top of the order], we know they're all dangerous players. But losing wickets in the first over, especially, is not acceptable."
England captain, Stuart Broad, is expecting the batsmen to make a better start against New Zealand

"Personally, I don't keep an eye on the strike rate or balls faced. If you can get your boundaries and your ones and twos, the strike rate is going to take care of itself."
New Zealand's Martin Guptill has some advice about opening that England might take heed of

US readers can watch the match live here, coverage starts 30 minutes before the game begins.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Alan Gardner

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SamRockers on (September 29, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

This WT20 england is missing KP very very much......

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

Black Caps are going to rock England.

Posted by ThirteenthMan on (September 29, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Broad's petulance on the pitch suggested he lacked the maturity to captain the team. His public criticisms of top order batsmen have confirmed that. Let us hope the players can put it out of their minds and do well in spite of their captain.

Posted by ChampionX on (September 29, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Graeme Swann needs two wickets to become the fourth man - and first non-Pakistani - to reach 50 in T20Is .... Did you see that indians

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Left JM Bairstow and Take Lumb because last match will decide result and Keep Morgon order to up One Down

Posted by Kingfish214 on (September 29, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Ross Taylor should beat at no.3 with McCullum opening, in my opinion would be a stronger team since Ross Taylor and McCullum are such class and are New Zealand's best batsman

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

I watched the match live at Pallekele (SL V NZ) ..It was the first time i witnessed a Super over..Nobody was ready for it..I admire the way the NZ players tried to beat us (SL)

Full credit to Malinga + all SL crew. Nobody was supporting Mali at that moment even my daughters... I think NZ can beat England today if they minimize the errors...

Anyway, we are going to beat WI today..Good luck Gayle..Ajantha is going to hit your middle!

Posted by Patchmaster on (September 29, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

@ SurlyCynic - so you're telling me Eion Morgan isn't great to watch ? You're so desperate to hate the ENG team, you're missing out on a true talent. The Aussies will spend so much time watching Cook bat against them in the next ashes, you have to get your digs in whist you can. Once this slap and tickle T20 is over, you Aussies will be back under the gun from ENG in the Ashes, like the last two times.

Posted by Rash_inswinger on (September 29, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

The way spinners are opening the bowling and causing concerns to the opposition guess spin can be introduced from both ends..kiwis have the ammo in the form of nathan and vettori and they can surely take few Englishmen by surprise (considering eng's inability to read the slower bowlers) then of course there's the mighty tim southee who probably bowled the over of the tournament so far against the lankans..followed by mills and oram...butler should be replaced by the experienced bopara and morgan promoted to # 3 if eng needs to add solidarity to their batting and make a match out of this one.

Posted by yorkslanka on (September 29, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

Going to be a very close match...for me bell should be in the team and also the captain...it's ok to blend youth into a team but you have to have some senior players for them to work around...would have also liked to see Alastair cook playing as the anchor role...yes strike rates are important but you also need someone to hold on if the wickets start falling...

Posted by shortsillypoint on (September 29, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

Agree corzaNZ - Oram has not done anything for NZ for years whereas Bracewell is well worth his place. Taylor needs more confidence in his batting and needs to come in early. He also needs better captaincy. Williamson has a better scoring rate than Taylor so he needs to be in ahead of Oram and N Mc Cullum always. Proper cricket shots work against the best bowlers even at the death. WI will be very tough so this is a must win to have any hope.

The super over was fun but inappropriate in round / group matches.

Full marks to B Mc Cullum for tending to the injured SL bowler rather than run for a single that ironically may have won the match.

Posted by ozwriter on (September 29, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

and england, boy are they missing ian bell. and remember matt prior anyone? he is a class test and ODI player. should be in the T20 team.

Posted by ozwriter on (September 29, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

i agree. oram needs to go. he is the weakest link. versus bracewell a player for the present and the future

Posted by Narender3080 on (September 29, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

Its Gud Point Why England left out The Bell.....

Posted by JG2704 on (September 29, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

I really do hope they at least bring Briggs in for Dernbach. I don't like this side right now and I'd also try Lumb ahead of Craig right now. I'm sorry but if we play the same side I feel - like in the test series vs SA - we deserve to lose , even before a ball is bowled on the grounds of lacking adapatability/adventure/ambition. Briggs might not come off and could even be worse than Jade but I'd still prefer him to be given a go and given a pasting than continue to wear the fluorescent green vest while our bowlers are conceeding around 180 per game. I know we are missing KP which doesn't help but even with KP I doubt we'd be regularly able to chase scores of around 180 which our bowlers/fielders are responsible for. When we won the WC our main strength was reducing other sides scores - check out the stats esp in the semis/final.

Posted by LilAnzac on (September 29, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

If Broad doesn't want to lose wickets in first over Kieswetter is a major gamble..good player but horribly out of form and another duck/low score on the cards. First 6 overs obviously crucial and with lack of confidence due to last game batting performance good strong start is vital. Give Lumb a go they aren't exactly short of a wicket keeper!!

Posted by spiritwithin on (September 29, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

@corzaNZ,i agree with ur view,Oram is a failure with the bat and doing nothing with the ball whereas Bracewell is a genuine bowler and can provide more stabilty to the kiwi side...but eng still looks fav for this match irrespective of previous results,McCullum needs to come big once again and Vettori needs his variation to subdue the english batting....hoping for a good match

Posted by senthil25 on (September 29, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Good luck for both .................England is very good team to fight back. on other hand newland is very best in this format.........its going to intresting........

Posted by msgupta on (September 29, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

why did england left out in form IAN BELL from the squad, he had to include bcz u dont hav kp,, so Bell in vry good opning batsman,recantly his perporm,, nic in one day crickt,, so...englan selectin not good for 20/20 world cup ,, there no chance to do specil in rest of the touran ment,,,,,

Posted by Shafi79 on (September 29, 2012, 3:46 GMT)

England favourites? C'mon Meety ... with this batting line up ENG has i would fancy a bowl against them ... now if only two names - Bell and KP were included they would have been a different proposition altogether ... a shame. I think the black caps will walk this one, they have been playing good cricket and ENG have NOT. Hope NZ play two spinners cos no matter waht Broad says ENG are all at sea against spin. I am looking forward to our lions taking on ENG on Monday ... mouthwatering prospect of playing three spinners :)

Posted by searle_richnz on (September 29, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

That is an awesome photo of McCullum. One of the best cricket shots I've seen for a while.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 2:59 GMT)

Can any New Zealander tell me why Kane Williamson is in the T-20 team and why Ryder was not picked1

Posted by Dark.Matter on (September 29, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

NZ have better chance of winning tomorrow. but meculum and taylor and southee and vitoree have to deliver . 60%-40% to NZ. for england broad need to mix it up in bowling by rotating finn swann himself effectively. but england have mindset problem. too much defence. it is good when morale is high but for team having not so much great time in ground , it is required to attack to lift the spirit.

Posted by Cricket_Master_Mind on (September 29, 2012, 1:13 GMT)


Posted by qpzmwoxn on (September 29, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

lineups should be NZ: 1.Guptill 2. Nicol 3. B.McCullum(WK) 4. Taylor(C) 5. Franklin 6. Williamson 7. Vettori 8. N.McCullum 9. Bracewell 10. Southee 11. Mills. Batters 6-10 floating depending on situation at end of innings but the top 5 must be in that order as they are the best in the team Eng: 1. Bopara 2. Wright 3. Hales 4. Morgan 5. Buttler 6. Bairstow 7. Kieswetter(WK) 8. Patel 9. Broad(C) 10. Swann 11. Finn. Wright and Bopara can make up the fifth bowler with Bopara showing against SA he is capable of bowling all 4 overs. Kieswetter down the order as he is not good enough against the new ball so bopara cant do any worse, plus kieswetters big hitting down the order will be valuable. Prediction NZ will win by 20 runs if batting first or with 2 overs to spare batting second.

Posted by corzaNZ on (September 28, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

Bracewell for Oram. hes provided nothing with the bat for the past few years and with the ball he gives up boundaries far too often and he is the bowler teams target to get runs off. surely Bracewell can provide better with the ball and do as well as Oram is doing with the bat... if not better!

Posted by Meety on (September 28, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

I think Eng are favourites, but I was impressed at how the Kiwis fought back against SL despite bowling terribly. I don't know how that game went to a super over. The reality is, NZ should of got one point out of that, they didn't deserve to lose. I think Super Overs should only be for knock out matches - like a final or semi. I think England will win this one, but then lose to SL. I think NZ will beat the WIndies, so this side of the draw will almost definately be decided on net run rate.

Posted by Class-Apart on (September 28, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

dead match none of them is going through to semi

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 28, 2012, 19:48 GMT)

So back to the plate competition after seeing the top teams in action today. I enjoy watching NZ put an innings together, so hope they win easily. Apart from the Irish batsman England aren't great to watch so hope they go home soon. Perhaps this will encourage Broad to change his attitude.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

Newzealnand needs to consider to bring Muccullam back as openar, its a good pitch so 1st five overs are so important

Posted by krazy.cricket.fan on (September 28, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

England is definitely out of the tournament. they were lucky to get into super eight. they should start packing their bag now.

Posted by vivek_khyati on (September 28, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

why did england left out in form IAN BELL from the squad???

Posted by Surajdon9 on (September 28, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

Better luck broaddy.....Drop Craig and introduce Lumb as an opener while butler will handel the gloves....

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Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
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