England tour of New Zealand, 2007/08 / Commentary

England in New Zealand ODI Series - 3rd ODI

New Zealand v England

England won by 6 wickets (with 18 balls remaining) (D/L method)

Welcome back, the players are back out on the field - the break was rather brief because the New Zealand innings over-ran. Phil Mustard and Alastair Cook have a target of 235 to chase down

0.1

Mills to Cook, no run, good grief, chaos already. Cook defends to short cover, Mustard is three-quarters of the way down the pitch and sent back, and the shy hits straightaway ... but he's just home

0.2

Mills to Cook, no run, pushed into the leg-side, and no panic this time

0.3

Mills to Cook, no run, full length, driven down to mid-on

0.4

Mills to Cook, 1 wide, width outside off stump, Too much width as it turns out

0.4

Mills to Cook, no run, outside off stump and left alone with a flourish

0.5

Mills to Cook, no run, a swish and a miss. That was quite wide too, but Cook all but edged it

0.6

Mills to Cook, no run, good delivery, seaming back into the left-hander, who edges with soft hands, just short of second slip

End of over 1 (1 run) England 1/0 (234 runs required from 49 overs, RR: 1.00, RRR: 4.77)
AN Cook    0* (6b)      KD Mills    1-0-1-0
P Mustard    0* (0b)     

1.1

Martin to Mustard, FOUR, short and wide, and Mustard loves that. Clobbered through the covers, leaning back for extra effect

1.2

Martin to Mustard, no run, tighter line but same approach. Mustard flings the bat at it, and under-edges into the crease

1.3

Martin to Mustard, FOUR, lovely shot, just rides the bounce because he's cramped for room, and picks his spot behind square on the off side. He's not just a biffer, he can time it too

1.4

Martin to Mustard, 1 run, tighter line, and respectfully defended, out to point

1.5

Martin to Cook, 1 run, sliding down leg, tucked fine

1.6

Martin to Mustard, no run, angled into the left-hander, defended

Cook is being dazzled by a news camera crew at deep midwicket, who've been asked to turn off their light. Remarkable what gets in their way

End of over 2 (10 runs) England 11/0 (224 runs required from 48 overs, RR: 5.50, RRR: 4.66)
P Mustard    9* (5b 2x4)      CS Martin    1-0-10-0
AN Cook    1* (7b)      KD Mills    1-0-1-0

2.1

Mills to Cook, no run, defended, after all that fuss

2.2

Mills to Cook, 1 run, nudged down to the gully region

2.3

Mills to Mustard, SIX, short, and a spiralling top-edge flies all the way over the keeper's head for six! Mustard rumbles on in his unique fashion

2.4

Mills to Mustard, no run, fuller, straighter, defended with a vertical blade

2.5

Mills to Mustard, no run, outside off, nurdled to point with a curl of the wrists

2.6

Mills to Mustard, OUT, tapped into the covers, and Vettori pings down the stumps with Mustard nowhere near the frame! That's England's seventh run-out in this series. Their fielders didn't hit the stumps once, now New Zealand have made direct hits twice in two attempts ...

P Mustard run out 15 (13m 9b 2x4 1x6) SR: 166.66

End of over 3 (7 runs) England 18/1 (217 runs required from 47 overs, RR: 6.00, RRR: 4.61)
     KD Mills    2-0-8-0
AN Cook    2* (9b)      CS Martin    1-0-10-0

3.1

Martin to Bell, FOUR, short, and swung away dismissively over midwicket - top strike, he knew what was coming. That's a good way to mark your arrival

3.2

Martin to Bell, no run, attempted back-foot drive, not quite middled

3.3

Martin to Bell, 1 run, short of a length, and pushed comfortably into the gap. There's definitely a run on offer there

3.4

Martin to Cook, FOUR, on the pads, angled in from round the wicket, and that's sweetly timed through midwicket. Slows up near the ropes, but it's a short boundary

3.5

Martin to Cook, no run, full length, on off stump. Defended

3.6

Martin to Cook, no run, big stride, firm block, picked up at cover

A frenetic start to the run-chase. As if we expected anything else from the Keystone Cops, sorry England

End of over 4 (9 runs) England 27/1 (208 runs required from 46 overs, RR: 6.75, RRR: 4.52)
AN Cook    6* (12b 1x4)      CS Martin    2-0-19-0
IR Bell    5* (3b 1x4)      KD Mills    2-0-8-0

4.1

Mills to Bell, 1 run, drifting onto the pads, and clipped away to square leg

7pm The players are back out in the middle. We're ready to resume. There's been a slight adjustment in the requirements. England now need 229 from 47 overs

Rain stopped play There's a hint of rain in the air ... and they are straight off. That's a great pity. Hopefully it'll blow over quickly

It looks like the rain has stopped - there's a massive rainbow above the ground, to the delight of the assembled snappers. The covers are off, and we should be back on soon. A resumption in 15 minutes, apparently

4.2

Mills to Cook, 2 runs, tucked neatly off the toes, and picked up just inside the rope - perhaps the rain has slowed the outfield a touch

4.3

Mills to Cook, no run, zips through outside off stump

Three overs lopped off, and only six runs. England won't be best pleased about that ...

4.4

Mills to Cook, no run, defended with a hasty late adjustment, in front of middle and off

4.5

Mills to Cook, 1 run, pushed into the gap in the covers, and a good solid call for once

4.6

Mills to Bell, no run, wicket-to-wicket delivery, defended in front of off stump

End of over 5 (4 runs) England 31/1 (204 runs required from 45 overs, RR: 6.20, RRR: 4.53)
IR Bell    6* (5b 1x4)      KD Mills    3-0-12-0
AN Cook    9* (16b 1x4)      CS Martin    2-0-19-0

5.1

Oram to Cook, no run, round the wicket, angling into the left-hander, defended on off stump

5.2

Oram to Cook, no run, doesn't get up, left alone

5.3

Oram to Cook, no run, a hint of a shimmy down the pitch, but in the end just nudged to mid-on

5.4

Oram to Cook, no run, tidy line, angling towards off stump, pushed out to point

5.5

Oram to Cook, no run, width, and cut firmly to point

5.6

Oram to Cook, no run, a maiden over - Oram's having a good day. Cook tries to work the gap in the covers, but can't beat the field

End of over 6 (maiden) England 31/1 (198 runs required from 41 overs, RR: 5.16, RRR: 4.82)
AN Cook    9* (22b 1x4)      JDP Oram    1-1-0-0
IR Bell    6* (5b 1x4)      KD Mills    3-0-12-0

6.1

Mills to Bell, no run, outside off and left alone

6.2

Mills to Bell, no run, two steps down the track, and clipped to leg, but a fine dive at square leg from Fulton prevents the run

6.3

Mills to Bell, no run, onto the back foot, and pushed into the covers. The runs have dried up, much like the rain

Jesse Ryder is off the field with an ankle problem, apparently

6.4

Mills to Bell, no run, worked to point, ten dot balls in a row now

6.5

Mills to Bell, no run, good full-length delivery, met with a straight bat. Another dot ball

6.6

Mills to Bell, no run, two maidens in a row. Nothing more than good lengths and tight lines, and the cover fielders have done the rest

End of over 7 (maiden) England 31/1 (198 runs required from 40 overs, RR: 4.42, RRR: 4.95)
IR Bell    6* (11b 1x4)      KD Mills    4-1-12-0
AN Cook    9* (22b 1x4)      JDP Oram    1-1-0-0

7.1

Oram to Cook, no run, a packed off-side field, and there's no piercing it at present

7.2

Oram to Cook, OUT, that was pure pressure - nothing more, nothing less. A length ball, smeared in front of square on the leg side, and straight to the solitary fielder at mid-on. England are wobbling

AN Cook c Martin b Oram 9 (32m 24b 1x4 0x6) SR: 37.50

Right, it's time for Kevin Pietersen. Today would be the ideal moment to end his form slump

7.3

Oram to Pietersen, 1 run, nurdled into the leg side, not entirely convincingly, but he's off the mark

7.4

Oram to Bell, 1 run, two steps down the wicket again, and worked to leg

7.5

Oram to Pietersen, no run, big stride, and picked up at mid-on

7.6

Oram to Pietersen, 1 run, looking to work through the leg-side, but finds a thick outside-edge to third man instead. They all count

End of over 8 (3 runs) England 34/2 (195 runs required from 39 overs, RR: 4.25, RRR: 5.00)
KP Pietersen    2* (3b)      JDP Oram    2-1-3-1
IR Bell    7* (12b 1x4)      KD Mills    4-1-12-0

8.1

Mills to Pietersen, no run, great delivery, probing the off stump, and Pietersen draws his bat inside the line at the last minute

8.2

Mills to Pietersen, no run, banged in and pushed out to point

8.3

Mills to Pietersen, FOUR, that's the Pietersen of old - a full stride, big reach, and thumped along the ground to long-off

8.4

Mills to Pietersen, no run, attempting the same shot, but inside-edges onto his pads. Looks like he's reaching for the ball

8.5

Mills to Pietersen, no run, left alone outside off

8.6

Mills to Pietersen, no run, big stride again, and defended into the covers

Right, England are in a bit of bother. As usual. Here's Martin to oversee their demise

End of over 9 (4 runs) England 38/2 (191 runs required from 38 overs, RR: 4.22, RRR: 5.02)
KP Pietersen    6* (9b 1x4)      KD Mills    5-1-16-0
IR Bell    7* (12b 1x4)      JDP Oram    2-1-3-1

Thanks Andrew ... who, if Sarah is following the match, has just eaten three of the most massive chocolate cookies you could ever wish to see. It's a Powerplay

9.1

Oram to Bell, no run, pushed defensively into the off side

9.2

Oram to Bell, FOUR, super cover drive on the up, textbook and all that

9.3

Oram to Bell, no run, pushed into the covers

9.4

Oram to Bell, no run, completely undone by the slower ball, he takes a step down the pitch and misses ... and ends up looking utterly bemused

9.5

Oram to Bell, no run, played off the back foot into the covers

9.6

Oram to Bell, 1 run, angled behind square on the off, Pietersen quick to call for the single - he was heading to the danger end - even if Bell was less certain

Patel was the fielder ...he's on for Ryder who is ... er ... injured. Not quite like for like!

End of over 10 (5 runs) England 43/2 (186 runs required from 37 overs, RR: 4.30, RRR: 5.02)
IR Bell    12* (18b 2x4)      JDP Oram    3-1-8-1
KP Pietersen    6* (9b 1x4)      KD Mills    5-1-16-0

10.1

Mills to Bell, no run, firm drive to extra cover

10.2

Mills to Bell, no run, back of a length, defended off the back foot

10.3

Mills to Bell, FOUR, slightly short, one step from Bell and swatted over wide mid-on for a one-bounce four, quite safe with the men inside the circle and there's nobody back there

10.4

Mills to Bell, no run, off drive, but at the man and hit too firmly for the single

10.5

Mills to Bell, FOUR, and again, this time he takes two big steps and flicks the ball over mid-on, using his feet to take it on the half volley and ease it over the infield

10.6

Mills to Bell, 1 run, worked square on the leg side

One of those rare days when Pietersen has to play second fiddle. It's hard to see him remaining subdued for long.

End of over 11 (9 runs) England 52/2 (177 runs required from 36 overs, RR: 4.72, RRR: 4.91)
IR Bell    21* (24b 4x4)      KD Mills    6-1-25-0
KP Pietersen    6* (9b 1x4)      JDP Oram    3-1-8-1

Vettori in long and animated discussions with both umpires ... and Vettori is clearly not happy with something. Lots and hand gestures and a snarl or two as well. Two minutes that all went on ...

11.1

Oram to Bell, no run, he comes down the track, the bowler responds with a slower ball and Bell steers defensively into the off side

11.2

Oram to Bell, 1 run, a loud shout from bowler and keeper as the ball skids through a defensive poke, but there was an inside edge and a single results into the leg side

11.3

Oram to Pietersen, no run, firm block to mid-on

11.4

Oram to Pietersen, 1 run, he works the ball from outside off stump to mid-on and immediately takes on the fielder ... easily home and the throw is wild as well

11.5

Oram to Bell, no run, straight half volley driven to mid-on

11.6

Oram to Bell, no run, patted into the off side

Vettori was angry, so we are told, as he thought he could take Powerplays Nos 2 and 3 in either order. He can't and the playing conditions say as much, but Vettori still not happy. Which is odd as he has a copy of the playing conditions ... and he starts on the umpire once again. This is not clever as it distracts him from the task in hand.

End of over 12 (2 runs) England 54/2 (175 runs required from 35 overs, RR: 4.50, RRR: 5.00)
IR Bell    22* (28b 4x4)      JDP Oram    4-1-10-1
KP Pietersen    7* (11b 1x4)      KD Mills    6-1-25-0

12.1

Martin to Pietersen, no run, mistimed drive from wide of the crease

12.2

Martin to Pietersen, no run, a typical Pietersen shuffle to meet the ball, well directed and he has to settle for a defensive push to cover

12.3

Martin to Pietersen, no run, drives on the up from outside off stump, gets a thick edge and the ball scurries into the midwicket area

12.4

Martin to Pietersen, no run, slower ball, he waits and then thumps it to mid-on who returns the ball with interest and hits the stumps behind Pietersen

12.5

Martin to Pietersen, 1 run, another slower ball, turned to midwicket and Bell has to hurl himself to try to beat Styris' throw at the batsman's end ... but he wasn't even in the frame had it hit

12.6

Martin to Bell, no run, pushed a few yards into the off side

End of over 13 (1 run) England 55/2 (174 runs required from 34 overs, RR: 4.23, RRR: 5.11)
IR Bell    22* (29b 4x4)      CS Martin    3-0-20-0
KP Pietersen    8* (16b 1x4)      JDP Oram    4-1-10-1

13.1

Oram to Pietersen, 1 run, fairly hard drive but to mid-off

13.2

Oram to Bell, FOUR, little more than a chip on the rise, he shaped to hit over mid-on but it clears mid-off with more than a sniff of edge

13.3

Oram to Bell, no run, pressed into the covers and loud calls of "no" from both ends

13.4

Oram to Bell, no run, worked to midwicket where Taylor is quickly in

13.5

Oram to Bell, FOUR, too much width, he leans back and larrups that through the covers, a perfect height for that stroke

13.6

Oram to Bell, no run, plopped towards backward point, Bell starts as if looking for the single but is firmly sent back

End of over 14 (9 runs) England 64/2 (165 runs required from 33 overs, RR: 4.57, RRR: 5.00)
IR Bell    30* (34b 6x4)      JDP Oram    5-1-19-1
KP Pietersen    9* (17b 1x4)      CS Martin    3-0-20-0

The last of the three Powerplays and a stunted one because of the rain break. A reminder, England need a D/L-revised score of 229 off 47.

14.1

Martin to Pietersen, no run, flowery and upright cover drive, well stopped by a diving How

14.2

Martin to Pietersen, 1 run, pushed from outside off - almost all from the wrists - and they take on mid-on but Mills misfields and falls over as well to add to the rather comedy moment

14.3

Martin to Bell, no run, yorker, well dug out, the ball bounces and spins viciously back into the bowler's-end stumps to loud cheers

14.4

Martin to Bell, 1 run, hard drive to mid-off and a good run

14.5

Martin to Pietersen, no run, left alone outside off stump

14.6

Martin to Pietersen, no run, inside-out drive into the off side

End of over 15 (2 runs) England 66/2 (163 runs required from 32 overs, RR: 4.40, RRR: 5.09)
KP Pietersen    10* (21b 1x4)      CS Martin    4-0-22-0
IR Bell    31* (36b 6x4)      JDP Oram    5-1-19-1

Paul Hitchcock into the attack ... he did well with the bat earlier, so let's see how he gets on with the ball ...

15.1

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, good start, on the spot and blocked

15.2

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, back and driven to mid-off

The gun thing said that was 80mph ... surely not?

15.3

Hitchcock to Bell, 2 runs, 69mph ... that's more like it ... driven to mid-off but extra cover dives and tips it past his team-mate

15.4

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 run, and back to 81mph. No way ... pushed to mid-off

McCullum standing up by the way.

15.5

Hitchcock to Pietersen, 1 run, punched to mid-on who is quite deep

15.6

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, gives himself room and drives but right to extra cover

End of over 16 (4 runs) England 70/2 (159 runs required from 31 overs, RR: 4.37, RRR: 5.12)
IR Bell    34* (41b 6x4)      PA Hitchcock    1-0-4-0
KP Pietersen    11* (22b 1x4)      CS Martin    4-0-22-0

16.1

Martin to Pietersen, 1 run, tip and run to mid-on ... they're taking him on, almost daring him. What price a run-out soon?

16.2

Martin to Bell, no run, firm drive from wide of the crease to extra cover

16.3

Martin to Bell, FOUR, slashing drive, he opens the face to steer the ball between point and cover

That takes Bell past 2000 runs in ODIs.

16.4

Martin to Bell, no run, more orthodox drive to cover

16.5

Martin to Bell, 1 run, slower and slightly shorter, he waits and runs the ball off the face of the bat to third man

16.6

Martin to Pietersen, 1 run, driven on the half volley, not timed but very straight, deepish mid-off and mid-on converge to field

A short drinks break ...

End of over 17 (7 runs) England 77/2 (152 runs required from 30 overs, RR: 4.52, RRR: 5.06)
KP Pietersen    13* (24b 1x4)      CS Martin    5-0-29-0
IR Bell    39* (45b 7x4)      PA Hitchcock    1-0-4-0

To clear up the markings ... there are 30-metre dots but not a circle. So the players and officials can see but it's not visible as you get further away.

17.1

Hitchcock to Pietersen, 1 run, short, bottom edge into his stomach and down to long leg

17.2

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, tight bowling and defended into the off

17.3

Hitchcock to Bell, FOUR, short and on leg stump, Bell swivels and helps that on its way, too fine for the man on the 45 to have any chance

17.4

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, inside edge as he drives, Pietersen starts off for the run and has to scoot back as midwicket fields and throws

17.5

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, firm drive, a tumbling stop by extra cover

17.6

Hitchcock to Bell, 2 runs, back and flicked off his legs square on the leg side, deep midwicket scuttles round to field

End of over 18 (7 runs) England 84/2 (145 runs required from 29 overs, RR: 4.66, RRR: 5.00)
IR Bell    45* (50b 8x4)      PA Hitchcock    2-0-11-0
KP Pietersen    14* (25b 1x4)      CS Martin    5-0-29-0

Vettori ... or Captain Grumpy as one feedbacker named him ... on to bowl.

18.1

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, good start, on a length and on the stumps, solidly defended

18.2

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, again defended, albeit with a flick to leg

18.3

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, back, he gets turned square on as he blocks

18.4

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, tossed up at 50mph and Pietersen treats with great respect

18.5

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, he looks to leave and then at the last second attempts a cut and, unsurprisingly, misses

18.6

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, punched into the off side

End of over 19 (maiden) England 84/2 (145 runs required from 28 overs, RR: 4.42, RRR: 5.17)
KP Pietersen    14* (31b 1x4)      DL Vettori    1-1-0-0
IR Bell    45* (50b 8x4)      PA Hitchcock    2-0-11-0

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19.1

Hitchcock to Bell, FOUR, lovely cover drive, through the gap in the covers and it purrs across the turf

19.2

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 run, a single into the covers and his 15th score of fifty comes up ...only one of those has been converted into a hundred though

19.3

Hitchcock to Pietersen, no run, poked into the off side

19.4

Hitchcock to Pietersen, no run, a big backlift but a dead bat

19.5

Hitchcock to Pietersen, 1 run, big off drive but an even bigger inside edge and the ball dribbles to square leg

19.6

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 run, short ... well, a rank long hop ... pulled with power to deep midwicket

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End of over 20 (7 runs) England 91/2 (138 runs required from 27 overs, RR: 4.55, RRR: 5.11)
IR Bell    51* (53b 9x4)      PA Hitchcock    3-0-18-0
KP Pietersen    15* (34b 1x4)      DL Vettori    1-1-0-0

20.1

Vettori to Bell, no run, short but he gets away with it as the cut is thumped into the ground which takes all the power off it

20.2

Vettori to Bell, no run, flatter and faster, defended

20.3

Vettori to Bell, no run, fired in, he goes back and defends

20.4

Vettori to Bell, no run, tossed up, crisply driven to a diving extra cover

20.5

Vettori to Bell, 1 run, he steps back and waits, then swishes the ball to deep midwicket

20.6

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, cut from slightly too close to him, no power or placement and it scoots to short third man

Try Photos+ as well ...

End of over 21 (1 run) England 92/2 (137 runs required from 26 overs, RR: 4.38, RRR: 5.26)
KP Pietersen    15* (35b 1x4)      DL Vettori    2-1-1-0
IR Bell    52* (58b 9x4)      PA Hitchcock    3-0-18-0

21.1

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, defended into the off side

We're rattling through the overs ...

21.2

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 run, again they take on the fielder - Vettori at mid-off - and had the throw hit then bell was kippered

21.3

Hitchcock to Pietersen, 1 run, pushed into the leg side and another tight run

21.4

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 wide, that one slipped ... well taken very wide of the off stump, way outside the tram lines

21.4

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, more air, cracked hard but at extra cover

21.5

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 run, back and cuts into the covers

21.6

Hitchcock to Pietersen, no run, punched into the off side

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End of over 22 (4 runs) England 96/2 (133 runs required from 25 overs, RR: 4.36, RRR: 5.32)
KP Pietersen    16* (37b 1x4)      PA Hitchcock    4-0-22-0
IR Bell    54* (62b 9x4)      DL Vettori    2-1-1-0

22.1

Vettori to Bell, no run, cut to point

22.2

Vettori to Bell, no run, drifting down the leg side, but no contact

22.3

Vettori to Bell, 1 run, quick feet, and defended in the end, with a gaping hole between bat and pad. Deceived in flight

22.4

Vettori to Pietersen, 1 run, rotates the strike well with a dab into space on the off side

22.5

Vettori to Bell, no run, defended to point

22.6

Vettori to Bell, no run, pushed into the covers

End of over 23 (2 runs) England 98/2 (131 runs required from 24 overs, RR: 4.26, RRR: 5.45)
IR Bell    55* (67b 9x4)      DL Vettori    3-1-3-0
KP Pietersen    17* (38b 1x4)      PA Hitchcock    4-0-22-0

23.1

Hitchcock to Pietersen, no run, bouncer, a good one too, surprises Pietersen as he sways inside the line

23.2

Hitchcock to Pietersen, 1 run, flogged out to deep cover with a big stride and bigger followthrough. Still not quite timing it today though

23.3

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, hurried onto the middle of the pad

Meanwhile in Perth, Adam Gilchrist has just reached a century on his final appearance at the WACA. Not a dry eye in the house

23.4

Hitchcock to Bell, 2 runs, pushed into space in the covers

23.5

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, defended back down the pitch, and Pietersen is sent sprawling for the crease

23.6

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, defended

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End of over 24 (3 runs) England 101/2 (128 runs required from 23 overs, RR: 4.20, RRR: 5.56)
IR Bell    57* (71b 9x4)      PA Hitchcock    5-0-25-0
KP Pietersen    18* (40b 1x4)      DL Vettori    3-1-3-0

24.1

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, defended again. Pietersen bides his time

24.2

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, pushed out to point

24.3

Vettori to Pietersen, 1 run, opens the face and runs down to third man

24.4

Vettori to Bell, 1 run, big stride, and turned to midwicket

24.5

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, attempts to work into the leg side, but no contact

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24.6

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, defended again. Probing stuff

End of over 25 (2 runs) England 103/2 (126 runs required from 22 overs, RR: 4.12, RRR: 5.72)
KP Pietersen    19* (45b 1x4)      DL Vettori    4-1-5-0
IR Bell    58* (72b 9x4)      PA Hitchcock    5-0-25-0

25.1

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, driven into the covers, and just falls short of a diving Styris at short cover

25.2

Hitchcock to Bell, no run, turned to leg

It's raining again ...

25.3

Hitchcock to Bell, 1 run, driven out to cover

25.4

Hitchcock to Pietersen, FOUR, short, and flogged through the leg side. That was a rank long-hop, to be honest, and Pietersen - in or out of form - doesn't miss those

25.5

Hitchcock to Pietersen, FOUR, that might be the cataylst that KP has needed. This one is belted through the covers at a severe rate of knots ... and the rain gets heavier

25.6

Hitchcock to Pietersen, FOUR, Pietersen is in a serious hurry now. Another full stride and a thumping straight drive. England are consolidating their position now

End of over 26 (13 runs) England 116/2 (113 runs required from 21 overs, RR: 4.46, RRR: 5.38)
KP Pietersen    31* (48b 4x4)      PA Hitchcock    6-0-38-0
IR Bell    59* (75b 9x4)      DL Vettori    4-1-5-0

26.1

Vettori to Bell, 1 run, looped onto leg stump, tucked out to square leg

26.2

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, pushed out to point

26.3

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, attempted drive off the back foot, but not properly connected

26.4

Vettori to Pietersen, no run

26.5

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, drawn forward in the flight and defended slightly uneasily into the covers

26.6

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, looking to work to leg, but his ambitions are stifled by some teasing flight

More plugs ... the Cricinfo toolbar allows you to fine tune your PC to do all kinds of wonderful things. And I'm serious about the house ...

End of over 27 (1 run) England 117/2 (112 runs required from 20 overs, RR: 4.33, RRR: 5.60)
KP Pietersen    31* (53b 4x4)      DL Vettori    5-1-6-0
IR Bell    60* (76b 9x4)      PA Hitchcock    6-0-38-0

27.1

Styris to Bell, FOUR, short, and shovelled over the leg side. A very elegant shovel too ...

27.2

Styris to Bell, 1 run, trying to work to leg again, but no proper contact

27.3

Styris to Pietersen, 1 run, swings across the line, but it lands one-bounce in front of deep midwicket

27.4

Styris to Bell, no run, back and across, aiming to work through midwicket

27.5

Styris to Bell, no run, pushed out to point off the back foot

27.6

Styris to Bell, no run, the end of another over, and England are ... dare one say it ... in control

End of over 28 (6 runs) England 123/2 (106 runs required from 19 overs, RR: 4.39, RRR: 5.57)
IR Bell    65* (81b 10x4)      SB Styris    1-0-6-0
KP Pietersen    32* (54b 4x4)      DL Vettori    5-1-6-0

28.1

Vettori to Pietersen, 1 run, another big stride, and a measured push into the leg side

28.2

Vettori to Bell, no run, stretches forward and pushed to mid-off

28.3

Vettori to Bell, 2 runs, makes room to flog through the off side, and times the ball well. The cover sweeper tidies up well

28.4

Vettori to Bell, 1 run, another single into the leg-side. England are beginning to milk Vettori effectively now

28.5

Vettori to Pietersen, 1 run, more good running, nothing more than a deflection into the leg-side, but an easy single

Rain on the way, according to the Auckland locals ...

28.6

Vettori to Bell, 1 run, the arm-ball to finish the over, but still another run. New Zealand need wickets

With that in mind, here's Jacob Oram

End of over 29 (6 runs) England 129/2 (100 runs required from 18 overs, RR: 4.44, RRR: 5.55)
IR Bell    69* (85b 10x4)      DL Vettori    6-1-12-0
KP Pietersen    34* (56b 4x4)      SB Styris    1-0-6-0

29.1

Oram to Bell, 1 run, another direct hit, but this time Bell was safely in his crease. They rarely miss

29.2

Oram to Pietersen, 1 run, stands tall at the crease and batters the ball back down the ground to long-on. And that's the 100 partnership

29.3

Oram to Bell, 2 runs, walks across his stumps, and nurdles the ball fine, picked up at fine leg

29.4

Oram to Bell, 1 run, defended, in the air for a while, but lands safely at mid-on

29.5

Oram to Pietersen, FOUR, powerful pull, on the front foot. That's one of his trademark swipes, and midwicket can't intercept that

29.6

Oram to Pietersen, no run, tucked into the leg side to complete another over

Miller has headed off to deal with all the people who want details of his house.

End of over 30 (9 runs) England 138/2 (91 runs required from 17 overs, RR: 4.60, RRR: 5.35)
KP Pietersen    39* (59b 5x4)      JDP Oram    6-1-28-1
IR Bell    73* (88b 10x4)      DL Vettori    6-1-12-0

30.1

Vettori to Bell, OUT, faster, flatter arm ball traps Bell back in the crease ...it was hitting, no doubts there, but was there a sniff of an edge? It matters not a jot because he's on his way ... but he's muttering all the way back to the hutch ...

IR Bell lbw b Vettori 73 (112m 89b 10x4 0x6) SR: 82.02

And Bell has some justification ... there was an edge ...

30.2

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, down the leg and turned into space for the single

30.3

Vettori to Pietersen, 1 run, swept from leg stump to the man just behind in the deep

30.4

Vettori to Collingwood, no run, pushed through and defended

30.5

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, steps back and cuts through the covers

30.6

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, full and driven back to the bowler on the half volley

Poor old Asad Rauf's not had the best of days. Even Pietersen at the non-striker's end was shaking his head ... not that that means anything!

End of over 31 (3 runs) England 141/3 (88 runs required from 16 overs, RR: 4.54, RRR: 5.50)
KP Pietersen    40* (61b 5x4)      DL Vettori    7-1-15-1
PD Collingwood    2* (3b)      JDP Oram    6-1-28-1

31.1

Oram to Collingwood, no run, checked push into the off side

31.2

Oram to Collingwood, no run, flicked to leg

31.3

Oram to Collingwood, FOUR, a swing, head in the air, a thick edge booms over where slips would be and goes fine enough to beat third man

31.4

Oram to Collingwood, no run, he misses as he shapes to turn into the leg side, the ball cannons off the pads into the covers

31.5

Oram to Collingwood, 1 run, flicked to deep midwicket

31.6

Oram to Pietersen, no run, the ball passes between bat and pad, there's a noise and everyone goes up. The angry fielders then surround Pietersen who just grins ... water and duck's backs.

And the decision is a really good one ... it flicked his thigh.

End of over 32 (5 runs) England 146/3 (83 runs required from 15 overs, RR: 4.56, RRR: 5.53)
KP Pietersen    40* (62b 5x4)      JDP Oram    7-1-33-1
PD Collingwood    7* (8b 1x4)      DL Vettori    7-1-15-1

32.1

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, full and on leg stump, turned round the corner for a quick single as Pietersen was backing up a long way

32.2

Vettori to Pietersen, no run, again leg-side line, it plops off the pad a few yards and McCullum fields

32.3

Vettori to Pietersen, 1 run, one step, two steps, and flicked on the half volley to deep midwicket ... the return hits the join of the drop-in pitch and snorts into Vettori's face

32.4

Vettori to Collingwood, no run, good line, defended

32.5

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, driven past a diving short extra cover, mid-off fields but can't prevent the single

32.6

Vettori to Pietersen, OUT, he misses an intended flick to leg, and Rauf gives another lbw ... he was a long way forward but despite that it looked a sound decision. Not that Pietersen would agree, and he stares long and hard at the hapless official as he heads off

KP Pietersen lbw b Vettori 41 (105m 65b 5x4 0x6) SR: 63.07

And replays support Mr Rauf. Well done him.

End of over 33 (3 runs) England 149/4 (80 runs required from 14 overs, RR: 4.51, RRR: 5.71)
     DL Vettori    8-1-18-2
PD Collingwood    9* (11b 1x4)      JDP Oram    7-1-33-1

Now the cat is well and truly among the pigeons. Can England blow it? You bet they can ...

33.1

Oram to Collingwood, 2 runs, pushed into the off side

33.2

Oram to Collingwood, no run, slightly hurried block with little foot movement

33.3

Oram to Collingwood, SIX, slower ball which he picks, launched back over the bowler's head and into the sightscreen

33.4

Oram to Collingwood, no run, dropped into the covers but the close cordon in quickly to snuffle out thoughts of a single

33.5

Oram to Collingwood, 1 run, prodded to the right of backward point and that allows the run

33.6

Oram to Shah, no run, plays and misses

End of over 34 (9 runs) England 158/4 (71 runs required from 13 overs, RR: 4.64, RRR: 5.46)
OA Shah    0* (1b)      JDP Oram    8-1-42-1
PD Collingwood    18* (16b 1x4 1x6)      DL Vettori    8-1-18-2

34.1

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, sweetly flicked off his pads to deep midwicket

Shah takes an off-stump guard and then stands on leg ...

34.2

Vettori to Shah, no run, squirted to backward point

34.3

Vettori to Shah, no run, well forward, pushed into the covers

34.4

Vettori to Shah, no run, again a long way forward and McCullum coos encouragement to his captain

34.5

Vettori to Shah, 1 run, punched hard past extra cover, hit with the spin

34.6

Vettori to Collingwood, no run, floated up, watched and dead-batted to point

End of over 35 (2 runs) England 160/4 (69 runs required from 12 overs, RR: 4.57, RRR: 5.75)
PD Collingwood    19* (18b 1x4 1x6)      DL Vettori    9-1-20-2
OA Shah    1* (5b)      JDP Oram    8-1-42-1

Van Morrison on the PA. Brown Eyed Girl no less to greet Kyle Mills. Is there something we should know?

35.1

Mills to Shah, no run, patted back to old brown eyes who fields

35.2

Mills to Shah, 1 run, whipped from off stump to deep square leg, a curtailed cry of anguish from the bowler

35.3

Mills to Collingwood, no run, punched off the back foot , again Mills easily gathers without breaking stride

35.4

Mills to Collingwood, 1 run, poked towards extra cover

35.5

Mills to Shah, 2 runs, short and Shah quick to seize on it and thump it to deep midwicket .... there should have been one but a fumble allows them to come back for the second

35.6

Mills to Shah, no run, across and into line to defend

End of over 36 (4 runs) England 164/4 (65 runs required from 11 overs, RR: 4.55, RRR: 5.90)
OA Shah    4* (9b)      KD Mills    7-1-29-0
PD Collingwood    20* (20b 1x4 1x6)      DL Vettori    9-1-20-2

It's all oddly flat at the moment.

36.1

Vettori to Collingwood, no run, pushed to midwicket

36.2

Vettori to Collingwood, no run, dead batted into the leg side

36.3

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, he skips down the track and pushes wide of the bowler who half collides with the non striker, long-on ambles in

36.4

Vettori to Shah, 1 run, very wide and cut to deep cover

That looked as if it slipped ...

36.5

Vettori to Collingwood, 1 run, driven to mid-off and both batsmen are quick out of the blocks ...had they not been that might have been tight

36.6

Vettori to Shah, no run, solid block form Shah.

A fine spell ... and here's another one from Andrew Miller.

End of over 37 (3 runs) England 167/4 (62 runs required from 60 balls, RR: 4.51, RRR: 6.20)
OA Shah    5* (11b)      DL Vettori    10-1-23-2
PD Collingwood    22* (24b 1x4 1x6)      KD Mills    7-1-29-0

37.1

Mills to Collingwood, no run, wicket-to-wicket, defended on off stump

37.2

Mills to Collingwood, no run, pushed off the front foot, past the outstretched hand of the bowler, fielded at mid-off

37.3

Mills to Collingwood, 2 runs, short, and pulled firmly into the deep. So firmly, in fact, that Fulton misfields

37.4

Mills to Collingwood, no run, back of a length, and pushed into the covers

37.5

Mills to Collingwood, no run, full length, cramping for room outside off, nudged into the gully region

37.6

Mills to Collingwood, FOUR, lovely strike, clipped up and over midwicket. Lots of bottom hand involved, and beat all the fielders

That relieves some of the pressure. England are still in control of their destiny

End of over 38 (6 runs) England 173/4 (56 runs required from 54 balls, RR: 4.55, RRR: 6.22)
PD Collingwood    28* (30b 2x4 1x6)      KD Mills    8-1-35-0
OA Shah    5* (11b)      DL Vettori    10-1-23-2

38.1

Martin to Shah, 2 runs, far too much width, and carved out to Fulton in the deep. With two misfields to his name already, England were always going to push him for two

38.2

Martin to Shah, no run, pushed into the covers, a loud shout of "no!"

38.3

Martin to Shah, 1 run, striding onto the front foot, pushed into the covers

38.4

Martin to Collingwood, 1 run, stepped to the pitch and worked through the leg side

38.5

Martin to Shah, 1 run, driven with a full face, picked up behind the stumps by a sliding mid-off

38.6

Martin to Collingwood, 1 run, low full toss, driven hard into the covers, and rebounds for a single

Another comfortable over of accumulation

End of over 39 (6 runs) England 179/4 (50 runs required from 48 balls, RR: 4.58, RRR: 6.25)
PD Collingwood    30* (32b 2x4 1x6)      CS Martin    6-0-35-0
OA Shah    9* (15b)      KD Mills    8-1-35-0

39.1

Mills to Collingwood, no run, jabbed out to point. Not much width to work with

39.2

Mills to Collingwood, 1 run, cut away towards point who fails to pick up cleanly and they coast in for a single

39.3

Mills to Shah, no run, tidy line and length, angling in and shaping away, defended uneasily on off stump

39.4

Mills to Shah, 1 run, short-arm pull through midwicket

39.5

Mills to Collingwood, 1 run, swung out towards deep midwicket, a cry of "catch!" goes up, but lucky for Collingwood he didn't connect properly

39.6

Mills to Shah, 2 runs, run off an open face to third man. England are easing home now. Surely

End of over 40 (5 runs) England 184/4 (45 runs required from 42 balls, RR: 4.60, RRR: 6.42)
OA Shah    12* (18b)      KD Mills    9-1-40-0
PD Collingwood    32* (35b 2x4 1x6)      CS Martin    6-0-35-0

40.1

Martin to Collingwood, 1 run, shimmies down the pitch and driven into space in the covers

40.2

Martin to Shah, 1 run, tight line and length and met with a dead bat, but it's dead enough to pick up a single

40.3

Martin to Collingwood, no run, down the track, and Martin turns a length ball into a yorker. Good bowling

40.4

Martin to Collingwood, 1 run, clipped firmly in front of a diving short midwicket. Nicely timed into the deep

40.5

Martin to Shah, 1 run, driven wide of short cover. Another one ticked off

40.6

Martin to Collingwood, SIX, waist-high full toss, and Collingwood swats it away, high and handsome over backward square.

That might just be curtains for New Zealand. Here's Martin to take it home

End of over 41 (10 runs) England 194/4 (35 runs required from 36 balls, RR: 4.73, RRR: 5.83)
PD Collingwood    40* (39b 2x4 2x6)      CS Martin    7-0-45-0
OA Shah    14* (20b)      KD Mills    9-1-40-0

Chickens being counted by our UK editor?

41.1

Mills to Shah, 1 run, tip and run into the off side, very easy

41.2

Mills to Collingwood, 2 runs, heaved drive past a diving midwicket, the men in the deep converge but not quickly enough to save the second

41.3

Mills to Collingwood, FOUR, he steps to leg and hammers the ball through the covers, a super shot at this stage of the game and you can see the Kiwis deflating with every blow

41.4

Mills to Collingwood, FOUR, leg-side full toss, jabbed through midwicket and more air escapes ...

41.5

Mills to Collingwood, 1 run, pushed to extra cover, the batsmen hurry, the fielder almost seems to have given up the ghost

41.6

Mills to Shah, 2 runs, steered skillfully down to third man, it was full and he opened the face so perfectly that he almost evaded the man down there

End of over 42 (14 runs) England 208/4 (21 runs required from 30 balls, RR: 4.95, RRR: 4.20)
OA Shah    17* (22b)      KD Mills    10-1-54-0
PD Collingwood    51* (43b 4x4 2x6)      CS Martin    7-0-45-0

42.1

Hitchcock to Collingwood, (no ball) SIX, chest-high full toss, dismissively swatted into the crowd beyond square leg

42.1

Hitchcock to Collingwood, 2 runs, chipped over the bowler, not enough power to make the rope but two more

42.2

Hitchcock to Collingwood, FOUR, driven over mid-off, it bounces a foot inside the rope and as the man is in the ring, a safe shot

42.3

Hitchcock to Collingwood, FOUR, now you suspect he is taking the whatsit ... another full toss reverse swept to perfection

England are racing towards the finishing line ...

42.4

Hitchcock to Collingwood, 1 run, good yorker well dug out and pushed to long-on

42.5

Hitchcock to Shah, no run, slower ball steered to backward point

42.6

Hitchcock to Shah, no run, firmly pushed to point and ironic cheers for the dot ball

End of over 43 (18 runs) England 226/4 (3 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 5.25, RRR: 0.75)
OA Shah    17* (24b)      PA Hitchcock    7-0-56-0
PD Collingwood    68* (48b 6x4 3x6)      KD Mills    10-1-54-0

Three to win and at least the series is alive ...

43.1

Oram to Collingwood, 1 run, low full toss patted to long-on

43.2

Oram to Shah, no run, driven to extra cover

God Save The Queen rings out for the first time this tour. The national anthem version and not the Sex Pistols one ...

43.3

Oram to Shah, no run, all very anticlimactic now ... the runs will come .... but not off this ball which point fields

43.4

Oram to Shah, no run, crisp drive to deepish mid-off but again no interest in the single

43.5

Oram to Shah, 1 run, slashed drive to the left of extra cover and this time Shah takes the run to tie the scores

43.6

Oram to Collingwood, 1 run, short, pulled but not timed, but it makes no difference as they take the single to backward square leg that wins the match and puts England back in the series

Well, the only way was up after two resounding drubbings, but England bounced back well and were led from the front by Paul Collingwood who took 3 for 43 and then hammered 70 not out off 50 balls. They bowled well, even though they allowed New Zealand to post 234 for 9 after being 95 for 6, and then recovered from losing both openers to ease home with three overs and six wickets in hand.

Click here to read Andrew Miller's gripping bulletin. In the meantime, that it from Martin Williamson and Andrew Miller for tonight. We will be back next Wednesday at 11am (2200GMT Tuesday) for the fourth ODI in Napier.

End of over 44 (3 runs) England 229/4 (RR: 5.20)
PD Collingwood    70* (50b 6x4 3x6)      JDP Oram    9-1-45-1
OA Shah    18* (28b)      PA Hitchcock    7-0-56-0
Series Results
New Zealand v England at Christchurch - Feb 23, 2008
New Zealand won by 34 runs (D/L method)
New Zealand v England at Napier - Feb 20, 2008
Match tied
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Feb 15, 2008
England won by 6 wickets (with 18 balls remaining) (D/L method)
New Zealand v England at Hamilton - Feb 12, 2008
New Zealand won by 10 wickets (with 107 balls remaining) (D/L method)
New Zealand v England at Wellington - Feb 9, 2008
New Zealand won by 6 wickets (with 120 balls remaining)
More results »

Photos

Feb 15, 2008

A rainbow frames Eden Park, New Zealand v England, 3rd ODI, Auckland, February 15, 2008

A rainbow frames Eden Park

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Feb 15, 2008

Ian Bell pushes off the back foot, New Zealand v England, 3rd ODI, Auckland, February 15, 2008

Ian Bell pushes off the back foot

© Getty Images

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