Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Thriller in Napier

The One Day International (ODI) series between New Zealand and England has finally produced a match worth watching. The forth match of the series, in Napier, ended with a thrilling tie meaning that New Zealand lead the series 2-1 with a match to play. The wicket at Napier was an excellent ODI wicket. It was fast, had a true bounce with short boundaries square of the wicket and a fast outfield. In the end New Zealand blew an easy win, they needed 25 from 24 balls with four wickets left including Jamie How who was on 128 at the time.

The match saw 680 runs and 13 wickets, clearly a batting paradise, so which bowlers did England pick: J Anderson, R Sidebottom and S Broad. That is three bowlers, not the required five. England ‘filled in’ with twenty overs from Collingwood, Shah and Mascarenhas. Collingwood is not a bad one day bowler but with that selection there is no room for mistakes or an off day. Anderson went for 86 from his ten but Collingwood had nowhere to turn. So who bowled the last, vital over: Luke Wright. That was definitely not based his previous efforts... because that is the only over he has bowled in the competition. To be fair it worked, and New Zealand only managed six from the last over but can you imagine the fuss that would have been made if the first ball of the over had gone for six...

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