New Zealand v England 2007-08 / News

New Zealand v England, 4th ODI, Napier

England back from the dead

Cricinfo staff

February 20, 2008

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Luke Wright is mobbed by his team-mates after a superb final over earned England a tie in Napier © Getty Images
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The thrilling tie played out by England and New Zealand in Napier is one of those days when a captain really earns his match fee. With New Zealand needing seven from the last over and all his main bowlers used up, Paul Collingwood turned to the part-time medium pace of Luke Wright who produced a nerveless final over.

"I wanted to get it down to the last over and back Wrighty because I knew how good he was with yorkers and hopefully nail them and be the man for us on the day - and what a great over it was," Collingwood said. "I could have bowled [him] five overs earlier but you want it to go to the last over, that's where the pressure is. I backed him and that was it."

Wright couldn't quite believe it when Collingwood told him to get ready for the final over but was more than happy to soak up the pressure. "I thought Colly was taking the mickey when he told me to warm-up but it was great to get a moment like that," he told Sky Sports.

Until the closing seven overs of the chase New Zealand - riding on Jamie How's stunning 139 - had paced their pursuit perfectly and appeared to have everything in hand. Even after a series of ill-judged swipes by the middle order they needed two off two balls but Daniel Vettori couldn't force Wright away. For England, who now head to Christchurch with a chance of sharing the series, it felt as good as a win.

"We knew it was a good total but at the same time we knew how good the pitch was and pretty much up until six overs to go we were dead and buried," said Collingwood. "Jamie How played fantastically well but our character was great, we got our yorkers right, the plans were right and we put them under pressure."

There were very different emotions for Vettori who admitted his team "blew it" in the closing stages. "It was a perfect chase heading into the last six. We should have won that game extremely comfortably," he said. "We basically sewed it up and you have to take some responsibility for it. It's one we should have won in the 47th or 48th over. There's a little despair in the dressing room."

  • England were fined for being two overs behind their allocation with the match referee, Alan Hurst, saying: "England have been very close to over-rate breaches in the last couple of games of this series and although this was an exceptional game of cricket, it does not negate the responsibility of the captain to ensure prescribed minimum over-rates are adhered to."

    As captain, Collingwood was fined 20% of his match fee with the rest of the team losing 10%.

  • © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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