Friday, June 13, 2008

Oram out injured as England bowl

England won the toss and decided to bowl against New Zealand
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Tim Ambrose makes his one-day debut for England at Old Trafford © Getty Images
Now, as the saying goes, for something completely different. From the longest form of the game, England and New Zealand have switched to the shortest. Twenty20 is the talk of the cricketing world - and even beyond - after the success of the IPL and the announcement of Allen Stanford's series of US$20 million matches.

For England's players the significance of Stanford's involvement stretches much further than a one-off encounter with a £7000 prize at the end. This is the chance for some of the fringe players to stake their claim for a seat on that plane to Antigua, and for the established stars to ensure they aren't pushed aside.

England's squad - except the three Nottinghamshire players and the injured Alastair Cook - appeared for their counties this week to prepare for this match. England haven't always switched easily into limited-overs form and face a New Zealand side with five IPL players in the line-up. Leading the way is Brendon McCullum, who launched the IPL with his breathtaking 158, and is the most destructive batsman on either side.

With the aim of trying to boost their scoring rate early on, England have again fiddled with the top order. Luke Wright gets a chance to open, alongside Ian Bell, while Kevin Pietersen is at No. 3 followed by the in-form Ravi Bopara. Ryan Sidebottom misses out as England opt for a deep batting order with Stuart Broad at No. 10. England do have some IPL experience to draw upon, albeit restricted to Dimitri Mascarenhas's one match for the champions, Rajasthan Royals.

For New Zealand, McCullum will open alongside Jamie How, after Jesse Ryder was ruled out last month, but they have suffered a late blow after Jacob Oram pulled his hamstring. He is replaced by Peter Fulton, but the remaining bowlers will be under pressure. The middle order, though, is boosted by the return of Scott Styris, who is no longer available for Tests but remains central to New Zealand's one-day cricket.

When these two sides last played Twenty20, in February, it went emphatically England's way as they claimed the two-match series 2-0. They have the momentum this time around after their Test successes, but New Zealand are dangerous once they change the white kits for black.

England 1 Ian Bell, 2 Luke Wright, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Paul Collingwood (capt), 6 Owais Shah, 7 Dimitri Mascarenhas, 8 Tim Ambrose (wk), 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

New Zealand 1 Jamie How, 2 Brendon McCullum (wk), 3 James Marshall, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Daniel Flynn, 7 Peter Fulton, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Mark Gillespie, 11 Michael Mason

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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