1st ODI: New Zealand v England at Christchurch, 13 Feb 2002
Lynn McConnell

Pre-game: Weather report, Pre-toss, Toss,
England innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, End of innings,
New Zealand innings: 15 overs, 31 overs, End of game,

New Zealand survived a mid-innings collapse of horror proportions to beat England by four wickets in the opening match of the National Bank One-Day International series at Jade Stadium in Christchurch tonight.

Darren Gough had threatened to undo the best start New Zealand had to a match since last summer when taking four wickets in 11 balls.

However Nathan Astle and Andre Adams guided the side home with Adams achieving the best, and most important, score of his brief ODI career.

Astle stood firm while the carnage occurred in the 29th and 31st overs. It was only when he was joined by Andre Adams that some relief came and the score moved past 144. They saw off Gough who ended with four for 44 from his nine overs, four of them in 11 balls.

Adams broke the stranglehold with a four hit straight back past Gough, who wisely got out of the way.

Then in the next over bowled by Ashley Giles, he ruined his figures by hitting a huge six into the Hadlee Stand.

When Astle swung a ball from Andrew Caddick off his hip for four runs he brought up his half century, a subdued affair by his own standards, but useful for New Zealand under the circumstances. It came off 92 balls and included six fours. He followed it with a shot that was slightly squarer for four next ball.

Adams clearly signalled his continued intentions when he charged Andrew Flintoff every ball faced when he returned for his eighth over. He finally succeeded with a big money shot with a drive over point for four.

The end came quickly as Nasser Hussain ran out of bowling options and when Andrew Caddick came on to bowl the 39th six runs were needed with 24 balls to spare. Astle took a single off the second and then Adams blasted a shot over extra cover which only took some checking to see where it had landed before it was signalled a six to win the game with 21 balls to spare.

Gough was the most successful of the England bowlers with four for 44 while Giles was the most economical with none for 28 off nine balls.

Darren Gough took three wickets in one over to blow apart New Zealand's composure in their bid to beat England in the National Bank series opener at Jade Stadium in Christchurch tonight.

Gough had Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns after two cover driven fours before he was bowled, and Lou Vincent first ball, in his seventh over, the 29th of the innings. He added Chris Harris in his next.

After 31 overs, New Zealand were 144/6 with Nathan Astle on 42 and Andre Adams still to score.

Nevin brought up his fourth ODI half century off 58 balls and was finally out in the 19th over when hitting a ball from Andrew Flintoff to Paul Collingwood in the gully. He scored 55 off 63 balls and hit five fours and a six.

He and Astle achieved New Zealand's best opening stand since the series-deciding stand against Pakistan in Dunedin last year and it was one run short of being the first century opening stand since then.

The 100 came up in the next over, off 119 balls, only eight balls slower than England achieved, although the English were slowing down at that stage of their innings.

Andrew Flintoff bowled seven overs straight before being relieved with one for 22 in what was one of the better spells bowled by either side on the day.

But it was his replacement Craig White who made the next breakthrough having New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming offer a chance back to the bowler which he held. Fleming scored 10 off 15 balls, his innings being a mixture.

Craig McMillan took a boundary off the next ball and it wasn't long before he was using his square stance against left-arm spinner Ashley Giles. One shot playing a cut shot behind point for four with both feet pointing back down the track at the bowler.

Giles refused to be pressured and bowled tightly to emulate New Zealand's spinner Daniel Vettori, although he didn't bowl with as much success.

McMillan diced once too often outside off stump and Darren Gough, who was bowling the second over of his second spell, was good enough to get the edge which wicket-keeper James Foster held to send McMillan on his way for 15 off 14 balls.

Chris Cairns enlivened proceedings by hitting the first ball from Gough off the back foot over cover. The second ball dropped in front of Nick Knight who could have done better in attempting the catch.

The next ball was hit along the ground for four through cover, then next ball Gough bowled him for eight. New Zealand were 144/4. To make matters worse Lou Vincent edged the first ball he received to first slip where it was held by Andrew Flintoff.

Chris Nevin marked his return to international status by helping Nathan Astle give New Zealand its best start in One-Day Internationals this summer when they added 78 in the first National Bank series match against England at Jade Stadium in Christchurch today.

After 15 overs, New Zealand were 78/0 in their quest for 197 off 42 overs in the rain-reduced match. Nevin was 41 not out and Astle 28 not out.

They didn't have to score too many to improve on the opening stands, 20 was the previous best by Lou Vincent and Mark Richardson in the first VB Series match in Melbourne. It was the first 50 opening stand in 14 ODIs since Astle and Mathew Sinclair in Colombo last year.

But with Nevin looking to get on with the scoring in his own inimitable fashion, by using his lack of height, to get under shorter pitched bowling and help it on its way. Twice he nearly cleared the third man boundary with balls that pitched just short.

He did have one let off when he was on 16. He drove a ball to close cover where Nasser Hussain put up one hand, belatedly, in an attempt to catch it and dropped it.

Astle too, had a chance. He skied a mishit pull which flew high in the air just beyond wicket-keeper James Foster. He ran back but never looked confident hovering beneath the ball and it was no surprise that he spilled the chance. Astle celebrated by clubbing the next ball to the wide long on boundary where it rubbed against the rope as it pitched.

Nevin welcomed Craig White back to ODIs by pulling a sweet six to square leg in his first over. It took him to 41 off 47 balls.

Darren Gough proved just as expensive as the New Zealand opening bowlers and was rested after his first four overs cost 22 runs. Caddick's first six overs cost 32 runs.

Outstanding New Zealand catching and fielding during the latter stages of England's innings pulled the home team back into the opening National Bank Series match at Jade Stadium in Christchurch today.

New Zealand were on the end of a decent flogging at one stage when England was 173/4 after 30 overs in the reduced match now of 42 overs each.

England blew an outstanding chance to embarrass New Zealand but lost five wickets for eight runs, and eight wickets for 40 runs in 82 balls.

There was never a dull moment during the last 12 overs of the innings. After the manner of Thorpe's departure, England felt the need to increase the risks and New Zealand the level of excitement.

Paul Collingwood attempted to get into Daniel Vettori, easily the best of the New Zealanders on the day, but he picked out Daryl Tuffey at mid-wicket. Unfortunately, he is one of the taller members of the side and he leapt high to pull in the catch.

England were 181/5 but in the next over, Lou Vincent, fielding in the covers, dived forward to snare a ball just before it hit the ground to take an excellent catch to remove the dangerous Andrew Flintoff for 12 off 14 balls.

And in the next over Chris Cairns did nearly as well in diving forward at backward square leg to pick up a lapped ball from Craig White which saw him out for a duck and England were 185/7.

On 189, James Foster chipped an easy catch to Lou Vincent at mid-wicket and then in Cairns' next over, Ashley Giles clipped a ball straight to the gully where Chris Harris held the chance and England were 189/9 in the 37th.

Andre Adams helped slow the initial onslaught with a fine spell of six overs and one wicket for 24 runs, a fine effort considering his second over went for 13 runs. He finished with two for 25 off 6.2 overs.

Cairns last two two over spells produced two for 12 runs.

But the best bowling was from Vettori who signalled he was back to his best with a three wickets for 17 runs off eight overs.

An amazing turn of events at Jade Stadium preceded the eventual run out of Graham Thorpe in England's opening One-Day International in the National Bank Series against New Zealand today.

England were 170/4 at that stage, Andrew Flintoff having just hit a huge six into the No 3 Stand. Off the next ball Thorpe was returning to the batsman's end to complete three to a ball played fine by Flintoff.

However, Craig McMillan had made a superb sliding save just inside the boundary. He rifled a brilliant return over the stumps and wicket-keeper Chris Nevin had the bails off while Thorpe's bat got caught up and didn't slide over the line. Umpire Tony Hill called for the third umpire's view.

That showed Thorpe was clearly out, but they were also checking whether McMillan had crossed the line while fielding. He hadn't by a fraction. In the meantime, Thorpe had moved to the boundary awaiting the verdict and Paul Collingwood was out in the middle.

Viewing the replay Collingwood seemed to think a four had been scored and Thorpe wasn't out, so he started to walk off while Thorpe came back to the middle. It was then that umpire Hill stopped Thorpe and told him he was in fact out, for 41 scored off 52 balls.

By the 30 over mark England were 173/4.

Nick Knight was the key performer during the 15-30 overs. He brought up his 50 off 45 balls, including eight fours, but after the fielding restrictions were eased he found the scoring a little harder but part of that was also due to Graham Thorpe having more of the strike.

The 100 came up in the 19th over, off 111 balls.

Fleming was forced to rotate his bowlers.

The tactic had varying results. Nathan Astle bowled one over for nine runs, Darryl Tuffey two overs for 10 runs, Chris Harris two overs for nine runs while Ian Butler's first over back cost nine runs.

Daniel Vettori was left until the 26th over before he was called into the attack.

It was Tuffey who removed Knight for 73, scored off 70 balls. The ball before the dismissal he had played the ball off his chest and off the next he had the ball cut back into him and he lobbed up a simple chance which Adams, racing in from mid-wicket, was able to take. England were 156/3.

England captain Nasser Hussain set out as if to prove his critics wrong that he was not scoring quickly enough in One-Day Internationals by scoring 35 runs off 38 balls as England made a flying start to the National Bank Series against New Zealand at Jade Stadium today.

He came to the wicket when Marcus Trescothick was out in the first over and enjoyed a rollicking 67 ball partnership worth 82 runs before Andre Adams, who had been hit for 13 runs in the same over, brought an end to proceedings.

By the time the 15th over came around, New Zealand had pulled back the run rate to six! England were 91/2 with Nick Knight on 46 and Graham Thorpe on four.

Newcomer Ian Butler wasted no time getting into the action and had his maiden ODI wicket when trapping Marcus Trescothick leg before wicket for one off the fifth ball he bowled.

Hussain found he needed to pick up his speed when completing the third run off a drive in Daryl Tuffey's first over. Daniel Vettori ran the ball down at long on, slid in behind the ball and was quickly back on his feet to fling the ball back to the bowler's end where Hussain was safe.

Butler strayed on the off-side in his second over and Hussain was quick to unleash a cover drive for a boundary, and later in the over a fuller ball was on driven by Knight for four.

In his third over he beat Knight lunging forward but the batsmen square drove a fuller ball over point and it flew one bounce over the boundary, and off his last ball Knight produced a lofted on drive for another four.

After five overs England were 28/1.

Butler was taken off after three overs, having conceded 20 runs for his one wicket. He was replaced by Chris Cairns.

In Tuffey's third, Hussain looked to charge him on several occasion. He skied a drive high safely behind mid-off. Then he went back to the fifth ball of the over and gave it the old up and under to the third man boundary.

Cairns' first over was a cracker. The first ball was nicely driven by Knight for four. The second saw Knight driving but connecting only with a thick edge which was travelling fast enough to break through Nathan Astle's attempted catch at second slip and carry onto the boundary.

Then off the next ball, wicket-keeper Chris Nevin dropped Knight and the single was taken.

England's 50 came up in the eighth over off 46 balls and Hussain celebrated with a lovely lofted straight drive for four.

Andre Adams was into the attack for the 10th over, Tuffey having had 26 runs hit off his first four overs. Adams had a very good shout for leg before wicket against Knight turned down in the process of completing a timely maiden.

England were 63/1 after 10 overs.

England captain Nasser Hussain won the toss and decided to bat first in the opening National Bank Series One-Day International against New Zealand at Jade Stadium.

The decision is a bold one as the pitch has been covered and is sporting a greenish-tinge and after all the re-scheduling of overs, and the decision to play until 11.15pm, it will be very cool in the field at that hour.

Conditions have lightened a little but the cool southerly breeze is still blowing and it will need to ease off to allow temperatures to increase.

The weather forecast had predicted an easing in the rain during the afternoon, and conditions were expected to continue to improve.

The game is to a 42-over encounter and the dinner break will be taken at 7.12pm.

Latest thinking in Christchurch is that the first One-Day International in the National Bank Series between New Zealand and England will start at 4.15pm.

The game will be a 42-over match finishing at 11.15pm local time. The 40-minute dinner break will be taken at 7.12pm.

There has been no rain since before mid-day but drying was still being done by ground staff.

Both teams are now out on the ground going through their warm-up routines.

Temperatures are cool and it is overcast. It could be very cool by the scheduled finish time.

The umpires today are: Evan Watkin and Tony Hill with Dave Quested (third umpire). The match referee is Denis Lindsay (South Africa).

The teams are: New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Chris Nevin, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent, Chris Harris, Andre Adams, Daniel Vettori, Ian Butler, Daryl Tuffey. Brendon McCullum (captain).

England: Nasser Hussain (captain), Marcus Trescothick, Nick Knight, Graham Thorpe, Craig White, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Ashley Giles, James Foster, Andrew Caddick, Darren Gough.

No decision has been made on the prospective start time for the opening One-Day International in the National Bank series between New Zealand and England at Christchurch's Jade Stadium today.

Heavy overnight rain saturated the Oval surface and ground staff were still hard at work trying to dry the ground at the scheduled start time of 2pm.

Neither England nor the CLEAR Black Caps have been out on the ground to do their warm-up routines and while the conditions are improving all the time, it is likely to be at least another hour before play can start. The umpires today, Tony Hill and Evan Watkin will have another look at the ground at 3pm.

Play can be extended an hour beyond the scheduled finishing time of 9.45pm and there was talk of more dispensation being sought to finish even later.

In the event of the game starting, but being interrupted by rain again, the match can resume from the finishing point of today's play tomorrow.

This is a different provision from most other countries, and England is the only other country with the same carry over position rather than a complete re-start.

The carry-over has been used in at least two games in New Zealand before, the 1992-93 match in Christchurch against Australia, and the 1999/2000 match in Wellington against the West Indies.

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Date-stamped : 14 Feb2002 - 02:40