4th ODI: New Zealand v England at Auckland, 23 Feb 2002
Lynn McConnell

Pre-game: Toss,
England innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, 40 overs,
New Zealand innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, End of game,

England tied up the National Bank Series 2-2 with New Zealand when achieving a Duckworth/Lewis method 34-run victory at Eden Park last night.

New Zealand battled throughout to achieve the target of 223 in 40 overs after two rain breaks reduced the overs available in the match.

At the 30-over mark New Zealand were 127/6.

Chris Harris entered the party with a big six over the mid-wicket fence from Ashley Giles to end the 31st over. They brought up their 50 partnership off 49 balls.

Cairns brought up his 50 with a single off White and next ball cut a four which Nick Knight couldn't control on the point boundary and saw it trickle over the boundary.

Harris tried to get on top of White but in attempting to hit out he didn't get enough power into the shot and was picked up by Andrew Flintoff at wide mid-wicket. He immediately celebrated by kicking the ball as has become his wont. Will England have cause one day to regret this foolish ploy when an umpire refuses to change a ball because of damage caused by this sort of action?

Andre Adams joined Cairns and hit four behind square leg off the second ball he faced. He then hit two successive fours, one cover driven and a full toss drilled straight back down the ground.

But in attempting to get the score moving, Cairns left enough of a gap and Collingwood got the ball through to bowl him. His 58 came off 56 balls and New Zealand was 168/8.

Adams kept going however, and at least minimised the margin of defeat by blasting one straight six from Craig White's bowling. However, he lost Daniel Vettori when he was held by Matthew Hoggard at third man off Gough's bowling.

Daryl Tuffey was always going to be the ultimate liability with the last wicket and he was bowled by Flintoff to give England the win. He was the key for England on the night taking four wickets for 17 runs from his seven overs, career-best figures for the big fast-medium bowler.

England were well and truly in the box seat to tie up the National Bank Series with New Zealand at Auckland tonight after shutting down the home team's batting.

A win looked a formality with New Zealand 127/6 after 30 overs needing to score 223 to win after the Duckworth/Lewis system inflated England's score of 193/6 to the mathematical requirement.

Chris Cairns and Chris Harris were at the crease but England were firmly in control. Cairns was 43 not out and Harris 13 not out.

Nathan Astle's loss was a big blow achieved by England and it took a special catch taken by a leaping, diving Darren Gough on the third man boundary to reel it in and send him on his way for 23 to leave New Zealand 59/5.

Lou Vincent gave the crowd something to cheer about when launching into a fine lofted off drive which sailed over the short boundary in that area.

Chris Cairns entered into the occasion when blasting successive fours from Paul Collingwood. One was a rocket-like off drive and the second was square cut.

But at the halfway stage New Zealand were 81/5.

In the 23rd over Lou Vincent, who had been struggling to get the ball away tried to hit out and was taken by Ashley Giles at backward square leg for seven. New Zealand were 86/6.

Cairns was joined by Harris and while the task was almost impossible for them they at least batted sensibly and took their chances when they came, one over from Collingwood went for 13 runs, including a huge straight six into the new stand.

The 100 came up off 139 balls in the 27th over.

Matthew Hoggard bowled a fine spell and took two wickets for 27 runs from eight overs.

New Zealand were battling the odds to wrap up the National Bank Series when attempting to score 223 to beat England in the fourth match at Eden Park tonight.

The game was reduced to 40 overs as the result to two lengthy rain breaks and under the Duckworth/Lewis system, New Zealand were required to score 30 more runs than England did in the same number of overs.

After 15 overs, New Zealand were 58/4 with Nathan Astle on 22 and Lou Vincent just in after Craig McMillan was caught off Andrew Flintoff for 10 by Nick Knight.

Chris Nevin took two twos off Darren Gough's first over and then in the next from Matthew Hoggard the first ball he faced flew high over the slips cordon for four runs, but off the next ball, Hoggard moved the ball across him and he edged to wicket-keeper Marcus Trescothick who held the catch to his right. New Zealand were nine for one after two overs.

Nathan Astle then played out a maiden from Gough and Brendon McCullum played out another from Hoggard.

McCullum opened his scoring with a four, French cut off Gough but when he got to the other end he attempted to launch a one-man rescue mission for New Zealand and skied a high ball which was easily taken by Michael Vaughan at cover-point.

Astle got the scoring rate moving to over four when taking successive boundaries to square leg from Hoggard and Fleming made if three boundaries in three balls when hitting the first ball of Hoggard's next over to the mid-wicket fence.

In Gough's next over, Fleming attempted a high ball and was only able to survive when Hussain appeared to lose the ball in the lights and got nowhere near it. However, Gough had his revenge when later in the same over, Fleming drove the ball straight to Vaughan at point. He scored eight off 11 balls.

England lost Michael Vaughan in the 11th over after he had taken two catches when he fell in the outfield after attempting to catch a ball hit by McMillan. He walked from the field clutching his shoulder.

New Zealand will have to score 223 runs to beat England in a rain-reduced match in the fourth National Bank Series game, at Eden Park in Auckland.

England only scored 193/6 in their 40 overs but under the Duckworth/Lewis scoring system, the total is increased.

The rain came in during the 37th over, stopped and the players came back out to bowl six balls before it fell even heavier and caused a one hour and 12 minute delay. The game had been reduced to a 46-over match and when they returned after the long break it was a 40-over match with a 10-minute break between innings.

Harris bowled a fine last over. England needed to hit and hit hard, there was no penalty for losing wickets, but it didn't seem as if the players were aware of that requirement.

Harris conceded five singles and took a wicket in his last over.

Nathan Astle was left having to bowl the last.

Vettori struck a vital blow when breaking the fourth wicket partnership between Michael Vaughan and Thorpe. They had added a superb 89 runs off 87 balls, figures that encapsulated the way they worked the bowling around to such great effect.

Vaughan had hit the ball back to Vettori and advanced down the wicket. Vettori fielded the ball and threw hard back at the stumps, hitting them. Vaughan had his bat back in ground, but he dropped it and had the misfortune to be millimetres short of the crease with his leading foot. While the third umpire was called to adjudicate, Vaughan knew his fate and walked from the ground.

He had made his mark on the game however, with 59 runs off 53 balls including eight fours and a six.

Thorpe brought his 50 off 55 balls but almost straight away the heaviest rainfall of the afternoon occurred and the players were forced from the field with England 176/5.

Thorpe finished on 59 not out while Craig White was three not out.

Northern Districts bowlers Daryl Tuffey and Daniel Vettori were the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers. Tuffey had one for 32 and Vettori none for 31.

That man Graham Thorpe showed again why he is such a key player in England's one-day batting line-up when guiding the side outstandingly the middle stages of the fourth National Banks Series match with New Zealand at Eden Park today.

After 15 overs England were 55/2 but by the 30 over stage they had advanced to 140/3, the run rate having lifted from 3.66 to 4.66. That was achieved by sensible accumulation through running singles and hitting the loose balls hard to the boundary.

Michael Vaughan clearly relished his chance for a match on tour by reaching 41 while Thorpe was on 37, the pair having achieved their 50 partnership off 53 balls.

Signs were that the drop-in pitch was playing much better than the strip used last year and New Zealand may face a chase of more than 250 if they are to claim the series here in Auckland.

New Zealand had one piece of luck when Chris Nevin dropped a catch off Nick Knight that he should have held. Knight was on 28 when he drove at Cairns but got a big edge. It went straight to Nevin who had the ball in his gloves but then dropped the ball.

The Auckland crowd, highly supportive of their own man Adam Parore, gave Nevin the City of Sails equivalent of the Bronx cheer.

However, three overs later Knight made a fatal mistake. Graham Thorpe hit the ball square and with Daryl Tuffey loping around the boundary he clearly, and properly, thought there was only a single. But as the throw was coming back in to bowler Daniel Vettori, Knight was heading back for the second run and as Vettori got the ball he quickly threw it to Nevin who took in front of the stumps with Knight already walking back to the pavilion for 38.

England were 77/3.

England lost two wickets in the first 15 overs but were still able to get to the all-important 50 runs by that stage in the fourth National Bank Series match against New Zealand at Eden Park today.

England were 55/2 with Nick Knight 27 not out and Graham Thorpe 4 after they chose to bat first.

New Zealand's bowling was much tighter than at Napier and scoring was tougher for the batsmen.

Marcus Trescothick survived a big appeal from the first ball of the game, the ball looked to hit him too high. But two balls later Trescothick played a soft shot to a slower ball and lobbed up an easy catch to Chris Cairns at mid-on to leave England 0/1 in the first over.

Nick Knight got the scoring under way with a lovely cover drive for four off Andre Adams in his first over. He was crisp in his execution and two boundaries in Adams' third over, one cut and one cover driven were lovely shots.

Tuffey's bowling was outstanding at the start. He was very controlled with a good length, several times inducing a false shot, and continually accurate. His first spell of five overs cost 13 runs for Trescothick's wicket.

The start was also notable for the lack of wides and no balls that have been a problem for New Zealand in earlier games.

Chris Cairns came in for the 11th over, celebrating his 150th appearance on One-Day Internationals, and saw Hussain mishit a ball well over wicket-keeper Chris Nevin's head for four runs, but next ball Hussain shouldered arms and was hit by a ball coming back in and umpire Tony Hill was sufficiently convinced to send the England captain, albeit reluctantly, on his way for 17.

Rain forced the players from the field briefly just before the start of the 13th over

ngland have decided to bat first at Eden Park after Nasser Hussain won the toss in overcast but warm conditions for the fourth National Bank Series match with New Zealand in Auckland today.

Hussain provided one surprise when England made a change to their side with Michael Vaughan coming in for Owais Shah. It was unfortunate for Shah who had no chance to prove his worth when not required to bat in England's 43-run win over New Zealand in the third game in Napier.

New Zealand also made a change, bolstering their batting by including Brendon McCullum at fast bowler Ian Butler's expense.

The reason for that is centred firmly on the lack of knowledge on the pitch being used for the game. It is a portable, drop-in pitch and the technology is so new there has been no history of performance built up around it.

Eden Park is sold out for the game with 35,000 expected to be in attendance. Conditions are warm but skies are overcast and the prospect of rain is ever present, as it has been all summer.

The teams are:

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Chris Nevin, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Andre Adams, Daniel Vettori, Daryl Tuffey, Brendon McCullum, Ian Butler (12th man).

England: Nasser Hussain (captain), Nick Knight, Marcus Trescothick, Graham aThorpe, Michael Vaughan , Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Craig White, Ashley Giles, Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard.

The umpires for today's game are: Doug Cowie and Tony Hill with Brent Bowden the third umpire. Denis Lindsay (South Africa) is the match referee.

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Date-stamped : 24 Feb2002 - 02:37