England failed to defend their modest total of 210 against the Kiwis in the match at St.Lucia. Batting first the English batsmen got themselves in a hole in the initial overs losing quick wickets in the initial overs.
England opened with the left hand-right hand combination of Ed Joyce and Michael Vaughan but couldn’t get off to a flying start as expected. Joyce departed early and the side then lost quick wickets. It was then left to Pietersen and Collingwood to rescue the team with a solid partnership in the middle overs. Pietersen made solid 60 runs while Collignwood gave him good company with a useful 31.
The team found some light at the end of the tunnel with a more than useful partnership between wicketkeeper Paul Nixon and Liam Plunkett who made sure that the team crossed the 200 hundred mark with a mix of some lusty hitting and good running.
The Kiwi reply too didn’t begin on a blazing note with the side losing three wickets in the initial overs. But the New Zealand side buoyant from the 3-0 thrashing of the Aussies, carried forward the momentum and aggression and cruised along without losing any more wickets. It was the cumulative effort of Scott Styris and Jacob Oram who saw the team home in the 41st over itself with Styris scoring a fantastic 87 off 113 balls and Oram scoring 63 off 83 deliveries.
All in all, it was proved again that the team losing early wickets is bound to lose the advantage as it was clearly evident in the case of England. For a team batting first, the mantra’s got to be caution mixed with aggression, unfortunately for England the learnt worked on only one part of it and perished!