Thanks to some late-order hitting from Mitchell Santner, New Zealand were able to creep over the line against a competitive-England in the first ODI at Hamilton. That first win in the series could be crucial, because the Black Caps skipper is in serious doubt for this second game which could be England’s saving grace.
A match-winning middle order partnership between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham helped the Black Caps to a three-wicket victory with four balls to spare in the all-important first ODI of the series. The pair put on a 178-run stand for the fourth wicket as the home side drained England of all the momentum they had gained in the opening ten overs, dismissing Munro, Williamson and Guptill for next to nothing on the scorecard. Taylor’s leadership & experience came in handy as he produced a man of the match performance with the bat, scoring a brisk-113 from 116 deliveries as Tom Latham followed in his footsteps with a vital knock of 79. By the time England’s bad boy of cricket Ben Stokes broke the partnership, more than thirty overs had gone by since the last wicket and the match was heavily in favor of the Black Caps. England were able to stay in the game with three-relatively quick wickets falling, but they stumbled on the final hurdle as Mitchell Santner came out all guns blazing and polished the match off with an entertaining 45 off just 27 deliveries. In all fairness to the opposition, England didn’t do much wrong at the end of the day, they were just ever so slightly outplayed in the dying stages of the match, which in the end cost them the game.
New Zealand have been dealt a hefty-blow with skipper Kane Williamson in doubt for this upcoming match after he sustained a hamstring strain. Despite contributing only eight runs to the scoreboard in Hamilton, he’s easily New Zealand’s most prolific batsman since the great Martin Crowe in the 80’s & 90’s and will leave a huge vacancy in that top order that is in desperate need of some stability. With that being said, It’s time for Martin Guptill to showcase his ability to pound bowlers the proverbial mile in this next match, he’s a batsman who simply shows no mercy when it comes to sending balls to & over the fence in a hurry. He had an exceptional T20I tri-series tournament just recently, now it’s time to inflict some pain in the one-day format. The ever-reliable Ross Taylor has set the standard early in the series with a very-professional century to open his account against England, it remains to be seen if he can match his efforts at Mount Maunganui. With the expectation that Williamson doesn’t play, the bowlers will really have to bend their backs if they are to defeat England for a second-consecutive match. The Black Caps star-seam attack struggled to breakthrough England’s line-up, I speak of the dynamic duo featuring Trent Boult and Tim Southee. A tidy bowling spell from Southee went unrewarded while Boult picked up the early wicket of Bairstow, but soon after started to leak runs in unfamiliar fashion. Spin did the trick for them in the first match, but this next venue is hinted to have more grass on it for the pace bowlers which could really bring Boult and Southee into the game.
After all that fight England showed throughout the first game in Hamilton, it went unrewarded and counted for pretty-much nothing as they walked away with no points and a deficit on their hands. Both Joe Root and Jos Buttler continued where they left off in Australia with some promising signs in Hamilton where they each scored 70-plus runs, but in hindsight you feel that one of them needed to go on and score that century to match the efforts of Ross Taylor for the Black Caps, those extra 20-30 runs could have been the difference in the end. Nevertheless, it was still good to see Jason Roy chip in with a much-more subdued innings of 49, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow’s single-digit scores didn’t help England’s cause though. Probably the most-followed cricketing story last year was the antics of English all-rounder Ben Stokes, labeled as a ‘disgrace’ by many back home in the UK, lets not forget he’s one of their most talented one-day cricketers who not only lives on the edge, but plays his cricket on it. His return to the side was nothing special, but he’s a valued member of this team and is a barometer when he finds form. After a long layoff of cricket, Stokes should be itching to perform which does add an extra-element of excitement to these matches. This Mount Maunganui wicket should cater for Chris Woakes swing-bowling, he’s the type of bowler who generates a lot of movement on a pitch offering a lot to the seamers. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid seems to have success on almost any ground he plays on, you can just about pencil him in for two-or-more wickets each game which is a luxury in itself.
Top 5 fantasy picks | New Zealand | 2nd ODI | Mount Maunganui
- Trent Boult
- Ross Taylor
- Martin Guptill
- Tim Southee
- Tom Latham
Wildcard pick – Mark Chapman
Top 5 fantasy picks | England | 2nd ODI | Mount Maunganui
- Chris Woakes
- Eoin Morgan
- Ben Stokes
- Adil Rashid
- Joe Root
Wildcard pick – Moeen Ali
New Zealand (possible) – 1. Martin Guptill 2. Colin Munro 3. Mark Chapman 4. Ross Taylor 5. Tom Latham (wk) 6. Henry Nicholls 7. Colin de Grandhomme 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Tim Southee (c) 10. Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult.
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan (c) 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali 8. Chris Woakes 9. David Willey 10. Tom Curran 11. Adil Rashid.