Friday 22 February 2008 

Brendon McCullum Blasts New Zealand To Series Win

England 242-7 (Wright 47, Cook 42, Mills 4-36, Vettori 2-28)
New Zealand 213-7 (McCullum 77, Taylor 41no, Sidebottom 3-51)

New Zealand won by 34 runs (D/L) and win the series 3-1

A blistering Brendon McCullum half-century set New Zealand up for a 34-run Duckworth/Lewis method win over England in the fifth and final One Day International in Christchurch, and in the process sealed a 3-1 series win.

Rain stopped play with New Zealand on 213 for seven after 37 overs chasing 243 to win with them comfortably ahead, thanks to McCullum's early onslaught and a dreadful fielding display by England.

McCullum's brutal innings at the top of the order saw him smash six sixes in a brilliant innings of 77 from just 43 balls to put his side on top before England hit back with Ryan Sidebottom taking two wickets in two balls before heavy rain hit Christchurch.

McCullum shared a stand worth 103 for the first wicket with Jesse Ryder (24) before he was bowled by Paul Collingwood attempting another huge hit.

England dropped any number of chances, and were generally poor in the field, which hampered their quest to defend a below-par score with pace bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad again targeted by New Zealand's batsman.

New Zealand then looked to ease themselves home but lost wickets as they got closer to the total, with Daniel Flynn trapped in front and Jacob Oram clean bowled in consecutive deliveries by left-armer Sidebottom.

England thought they had Daniel Vettori caught behind soon after but a vociferous appeal was turned down, and with play suspended shortly after it proved their last chance to get back into the game.

Earlier, England batted first and thanks to a late rally from Luke Wright (47) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (29 not out) scored 242 for seven. Kyle Mills took four for 36 and Daniel Vettori two for 28.

They had made a promising start but were not helped when Ian Bell (24) and Kevin Pietersen (39) holed out when well set. Alastair Cook had earlier scored 42 before he was trapped in front by the ever-economical Vettori.

Mills removed Phil Mustard, caught at backward point by Jamie How for two before also accounting for Bell and then returned to get rid of Owais Shah, who scored a pedestrian 29, and Wright, who hammered four huge sixes in his innings in one over late on.

Mascarenhas smashed Jesse Ryder for 22 from the final over to keep England in with a chance of levelling the series, but his hitting was overshadowed by McCullum's as New Zealand put aside the hiccup of Napier to take a deserved series victory.

© Cricket World 2008



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