At Auckland, February 23. England won by six wickets, their target having been revised to 132 from 26 overs. Toss: New Zealand. New Zealand paid for ignoring a threatening weather forecast, though the real losers were the 24,000 spectators, who saw a potentially tight match turned into a cakewalk for England when old-fahioned average run-rate was used to set a revised target. With Mullally and Caddick hopelessly off line (ten wides between them in the first ten overs), New Zealand made a flying start. Irani and Croft restored some order, but Cairns raced to 79 off 74 balls to leave England needing five an over. With the promised rain closing in, Knight and Stewart were even more aggressive than usual. They took 47 from six overs before the heavens opened and, when play resumed, the required 85 off 20 - with no relaxation of the 15-over fielding restrictions - presented few problems and little excitement. At least Knight scored his first half-century since Bulawayo, while Hussain, deputising because Atherton had a bad back, tasted victory in his first outing as England captain.
© John Wisden & Co