New Zealand v England, 3rd T20, Wellington

Series decider is tough to call

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

February 14, 2013

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

February 15, 2012
Start time 7pm (0600GMT)

Mitchell McClenaghan took two wickets in two balls, New Zealand v England, 2nd T20, Hamilton, February 12, 2013
Mitchell McClenaghan, the aggressive left-armer, has bowled impressively in both matches © Getty Images
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The Big Picture

Victories of a convincing nature for either side mean it is difficult to really assess how England and New Zealand compare in this format. However, the home side have a spring in their step after bouncing back from the hammering in Auckland.

The fact the two matches have been shared is not much of a surprise, but the margins of victory have been large by Twenty20 standards. Both teams have struggled to chase considerable targets but, if the Wellington groundsman's advice is to be heeded, then batting second should be the approach in this final match, where history suggests the dew is a hindrance to the bowlers.

In Hamilton, New Zealand's seamers made excellent use of the extra zip on offer under the lights to dismantle England's top order which, three days previously, had gone on a boundary rampage. At 47 for 5 the game was done and dusted. However, what Brendon McCullum and, even in defeat, Jos Buttler showed is how much damage can be done in the last few overs of an innings.

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)
New Zealand WLLWL
England LWWLL

In the spotlight

Alex Hales arrived for the series with a growing reputation in Twenty20 after a consistent 2012 for England plus his fly-in fly-out success at the Big Bash League. He has not quite been able to continue that form in New Zealand, missing out twice in the warm-ups and in Hamilton. As with the rest of England's T20 top three, he is not part of the one-day squad so this is likely to be his last chance to impress on the international stage until the return T20 series against New Zealand in England later in the year.

Mitchell McClenaghan is fitting nicely into the mould of 'feisty fast bowler'. There was a little confrontation with Jade Dernbach at the end of the opening game, then a lively over in Hamilton knocked the top off the England run chase. He is eager for a similarly spicy battle in this deciding match. "I absolutely loved it," he said. "I love getting in those kinds of tussles and showing some fight when things are lost and a bit of Kiwi spirit that we're not going to get knocked down and stay down."

Team news

New Zealand may consider recalling Ronnie Hira, the left-arm spinner, and if that is the case Trent Boult, who has been expensive in both matches, would be the likely bowler to make way.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Colin Munro, 6 Grant Elliott, 7 James Franklin, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Ian Butler, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

England appear reasonably settled on the balance of their Twenty20 side so it is likely that Chris Woakes will remain on the sidelines alongside James Harris, Stuart Meaker and Joe Root.

England 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Samit Patel, 8 Stuart Broad (capt), 9 James Tredwell, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

Pitch and conditions

There is the chance of a few showers on match day but nothing that should prove too disruptive. The groundsman says dew will be an issue so both captains will need to factor that in at the toss. The Westpac Stadium is known as the "Cake Tin" and the boundaries are again not the largest - although they are more equal all around the pitch.

Stats and trivia

  • All four T20s at the Westpac Stadium have been won by the side chasing, with the highest innings total being New Zealand's 162 for 8 against Sri Lanka in the first game on the ground in 2006.

  • In last year's T20 against South Africa on this ground, Martin Guptill hit 78 off 55 balls to lead New Zealand's successful chase.


"I'm only a couple of boundaries away and then the confidence goes up. You try not to think about it too much and get into it. I didn't drop a catch in the last game so that was a positive."
Ross Taylor is confident is form will soon return

"If they want to be more aggressive, that's not something that fazes us ... we concentrate on what we want to do."
Steven Finn is not bothered by how New Zealand approach their cricket

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 16, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney :- [ I find it rather funny when people start talking about "Kiwi spirit" or "Aussie spirit"]

As a Pom living in Oz & supporting Eng I guess you will never understand Aussies or Kiwis spirit - it is part of our nature as its who we are - living in our nations & giving 100% to the country that we love... Its not about winning or losing - its about giving it a go & leaving nothing in the tank... Rommel said that if half his soldiers were Aussies he could easily conquer Africa & beyond - the Yanks in Afghanistan are in awe in what the Oz field soldiers are capable of - its about attitude - aka "spirit"... Take a Bex if you don't understand this...

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

We will see... NZ are showing more fight!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 15, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

This is not specifically a criticism of McClenaghan as it's a rather common phenomenon but I find it rather funny when people start talking about "Kiwi spirit" or "Aussie spirit" or whatever other spirit like their people have some sort of special ability to rise above circumstances that the rest of the world don't have. Kiwi spirit is no different to spirit anywhere else in the world. It's simply determination to succeed coupled with ability. Different people everywhere have it in different amounts. It's not limited to Kiwis or sportsmen or whatever. If there really was such a thing as Kiwi spirit then they wouldn't have done so badly in the Tests in SA. They didn't have the ability to do better there regardless of determination but they have more ability in short formats and that coupled with determination may well get them through.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

Have to say Dernbach has been leaking runs and offer the New Zealand plenty of buffet bowling and needs to be dropped. He has a bag full of variations but unfortunately he cant control them. My team for the final T20 would be

Lumb Hales Wright Root Morgan Bairstow Butler (wkt) Woakes Broad(c) Tredwell Finn

If Briggs was fit I would have played Briggs for Tredwell as Briggs will cause more problems for McCullum and Guptil than Tredwell. The bowling may appear light but Wright and Root between them can share 4 overs. Morgan bats at 5 if England lose too many early wickets. Root would be floated up and down the order depending on the loss of wickets situation.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

gkautish - Are you blind or just trying to annoy people? Stuart Broad is one of the greatest T20 bowlers in the world. If anyone needs to be dropped, it's Jade Dernbach.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 15, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

There was talk, from myself and others, about Alex Hales possibly being next in line for an ODI opening spot or maybe even coming in down the order. That may yet happen but he certainly hasn't done himself any favours on this tour. With generally less T20 played at international level than either of the other two forms by England, those in the T20 squad only need to take every chance to impress if they want more opportunities.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (February 14, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

Dernbach belongs on Geordie Shore, not on the cricket field.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

Eng will Easily warp up the series....

Posted by gkautish on (February 14, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

worst bowler in eng side is their skipper.... he doesnt desrve to be in playin XI...

Posted by Tigg on (February 14, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

For goodness sake drop Dernbach. Any of the other seamers is fine. Harris, Woakes and Meaker will all do a job.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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