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February 11, 2008
Owais Shah has insisted England can replicate their series win in Sri Lanka last year and overcome New Zealand, in spite of a six-wicket hammering in the first of five one-dayers on Saturday.
England were dismissed for a paltry 130 on a slow and low surface in Wellington, a total New Zealand took just 30 overs to knock off. But Shah maintains that like in Sri Lanka, last December, when England were comprehensively beaten in the first one-dayer, they can bounce back to win the series.
"We haven't quite adapted to the conditions out here - the outfield and the pitches," he said. "But we've been working hard in the nets and getting used to the conditions [more] as every day goes on. [It's] similar to what we did in Sri Lanka a few months ago when we adapted to the conditions after the first game when we got a hammering. We came back strong, adapted and went on to win the series."
And in spite of England's two comfortable wins in the preceding Twenty20s, Shah wasn't surprised by how strongly New Zealand fought back.
"They're third in the world and there is a reason why they are up there and we expected them to come out and fight," he said. "They've had a bit of criticism after the Twenty20 matches so we knew they would be working hard and trying to get back, which is what they did, and it's now up to us to do the same."
The second one-dayer gets underway on Tuesday in Hamilton.
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