New Zealand 398-5
England 365-9 (NZ won by 13 runs on the D/L method)
Eoin Morgan's 'Brave New World' continued yesterday, as his revitalised England side fell agonisingly short in their epic ODI run chase at the Oval. After the New Zealanders had posted a massive score of 398, England looked to be closing in on an unlikely victory until rain intervened. They returned to the pitch facing a Duckworth-Lewis revised score that ultimately proved unsurmountable. The game of #Cricket was the true winner though as the crowd were entertained to a feast of memorable limited overs cricket fare, with a record aggregate ODI total for a match on English soil.
After defeating the 'Black Caps' by over 200 runs in their first ODI, many fans would have wondered if England had indeed turned the corner in terms of their limited overs ambitions. The second match provided affirmation that they do indeed seem to be adopting a far more adventurous and entertaining approach to the game.
Attacking start by NZ
Many sides would have wilted in the face of a daunting target of 399 for victory, after New Zealand had regained their batting form from the World Cup. The Kiwis seemed determined to shake off their 'aberration' in the first ODI international. They attacked from the off with Martin Guptill at last finding some form to score a rapid half-century. A typically aggressive Brendon McCullum innings (39) helped their early momentum.
Williamson and Taylor provide backbone
It was the innings of Kane Williamson (93) and Ross Taylor (119 not out) that provided the backbone for their huge total though. The pair added 121 for the third wicket before Williamson fell. Taylor soldiered on to brilliantly 'marshall' the rest of the batsmen, while his four sixes were testament to the fact that he was hardly hanging around himself.
Strikes rates of over 200% from Grant Elliott (32) and Luke Ronchi (33) helped the Kiwis to their formidable total.
Healthy start in reply
England still saw the possibilities though and were quickly into their stride when the Kiwis bowled. They started solidly enough with Jason Roy (39) and Alex Hales putting on 85 at more than a run a ball. Roy's dismissal signalled a mini-collapse, as the home side slumped to 100-3 shortly afterwards following the wickets of Joe Root (6) and Hales (54).
Captain Morgan continued his form from Edgbaston to get their challenge back on track, hammering six sixes in his knock. He batted quite brilliantly in partnership with first Ben Stokes (28) and then Jos Buttler (41). Just when it seemed that he was on his way to a deserved century, Mitchell McClenaghan snared him for 88 off just 47 balls faced.
Rain halts England momentum
At 275-7 England still had plenty to do, but remarkably Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett breathed fresh life into the run chase. Plunkett was especially industrious, hoisting the Kiwi bowlers over the ropes three times.
Rain intervened to spoil what looked likely to be a close finish. England went off the pitch requiring a 'gettable' 54 from 37 balls. Oddly, they returned 50 minutes later to face a quite ridiculous revised target of 34 from 13 balls. Messrs Duckworth and Lewis had struck again.
The brave partnership of 76 was ended shortly after the resumption, Nathan McCullum removing both batsmen as they chanced their arm once too often. With their dismissals ended all hope for the hosts, but it had been a brave effort and sets up a mouth-watering continuation of the ODI series.