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There has been an end of term feel to this ODI series against New Zealand but for Dawid Malan it has turned out to be among the most vital few days of his career.
Malan’s century at Lord’s followed 96 at the Oval on Wednesday and 54 a week ago in Cardiff, a priceless collection of scores for him when his World Cup place was threatened by Harry Brook. Now Malan is not only a dead cert to travel to India but also to start the tournament as first choice opening partner for Jonny Bairstow. “Trying to break into this team, you either have to be a freak or consistent, and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” said Malan. “I’m extremely excited and it will be a dream come true to play for England as part of the squad. When it’s confirmed, it’ll be great to go.”
England won at Lord’s by 100 runs to beat New Zealand 3-1, Malan sealing player of the series with his 127 from 114 balls. In doing so he passed 1,000 runs in only his 21st innings, equal fastest to reach the milestone for England. He has made hundreds in his last five ODI series in all conditions: Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh and now at home. Only the Amsterdam runfest can be considered a gimme. He has done everything asked of him.
Malan was the only player from either side to show any timing on another tricksy pitch at Lord’s which made life hard for new batsmen and England’s 311 for nine was never under threat once New Zealand slumped to 52 for three. After that, England’s spinners, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali, who was the pick of the bowlers with four for 50, utilised the slow surface to full effect.
Really, the result was secondary. These four matches have all been about nailing down positions for bigger things to come. Livingstone, with 95 in Cardiff and four wickets in two games, rediscovered his touch in time, David Willey, fired up by missing out four years ago, looks a better player than he did in 2019 and Reece Topley has improved with every game under his belt.
Ben Stokes sat this one out, the job done with his 182 at the Oval. Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root have scratched around but England will be confident they will flick the switch at the World Cup. Mark Wood has not played since the fifth Ashes Test when he hurt his heel but built up fitness on the sidelines, England holding him back for when it matters in India. Adil Rashid is said to be recovering from tightness in his calf that restricted him to eight overs in the series.
It leaves two players scrapping over the last place, Brook and Jason Roy, and neither have had a good week. Brook scored just 10 here and two in his other game at Cardiff while Roy has cut a forlorn figure, unfit and unable to get on the park.
With Malan now inked in, Roy will at best travel as the spare batsman and in that role he offers less versatility than Brook. Roy has the record to justify a place but Brook is the coming man who has performed in other formats for England and has a high ceiling.
Malan and Bairstow make for a contrasting pair, with the right-hand left-hand combination useful in 50 over cricket for wrecking the lines of opening bowlers and because Malan’s placement allows Bairstow to go out and be the aggressor. These bilateral series struggle for relevance, but this one has at least sorted out England’s top order.
It helped Malan that Lord’s was his home ground for so long with Middlesex, enabling him to attune to the pitch better than anyone else, but what has been impressive is how he has reacted under pressure for his place. It is holding your nerve that matters in World Cups and Malan looked over his shoulder at the golden boy Brook and feared the worst. Not now.
A much-deserved century for Dawid Malan 🙌💯 pic.twitter.com/KlJXv8lKDb
Malan played some sumptuous shots, reeling off three fours in a row off Tim Southee in the eighth over before he started to look a little unnerved by Kyle Jamieson probing him outside off. Malan shuffled across his stumps and suddenly got going again, hitting Jamieson for two fours and a six in three balls. From then on was unstoppable, reaching his hundred off 96 balls with 14 fours and a six. He added two more sixes before departing, including the best shot of the day, clouting Matt Henry over deep midwicket.
New Zealand fielders were ringing their hands, three went off for treatment including Southee who broke a thumb dropping Root at gully. When Ben Lister pulled a hamstring it left New Zealand two bowlers down and they did well to limit the damage, taking the pace off as all but Malan played cameos.
Willey was good with the new ball, nicking off Will Young with a slightly quicker delivery down the slope and Brydon Carse produced the ball of the day, nipping one back to bowl Daryl Mitchell. Rachin Ravindra smashed three late sixes, crunching 21 off one Carse over, but this game ended as all the other white ball matches this summer between these two teams: one sided.
Clinical bowling from England, one over from Carse apart. They win the series 3-1.
Ravindra b Curran 61 Yorks him.
England win by 100 runs.
Buttler turns to Carse to finish this off but Ravindra can bat and pulls successive sixes, the first over mid on, the second over long leg and that brings up his maiden ODI fifty off 42 balls. The next ball is given some humpty too, pulled through midwicket for four. The lad took four wickets as well. Some talent.
Carse goes fuller and follows the left-hander as he retreats. They can’t risk a single with Lister’s hamstring so he stays on strike and skelps the leg-stump yorker which doesn’t find the blockhole fine for four.
Ravindra farms the strike by swatting the slow bouncer for a single. Twenty-one off the over brings the target down to 101 off 72.
Ravindra smites an even better slog sweep for six off Moeen and bunts a single off the next ball. Lister lofts a drive over cover for a single, Ravindra drills one down the ground and Moeen misses out on a five-for when Lister slices a drive just beyond Malan at backward point.
Ravindra goes for the slog sweep and just clears Sam Curran at deep midwicket. Had the rope not been in he would have had a yard to complete the catch.
He wasn’t right. And neither was I. No glove, only pad. The wide wasn’t officially called to the scorers, Martin Saggers says.
Ravindra c Buttler b Livingstone It was called wide as he swept but Buttler is convinced he gloved it. I think he’s right.
Lister keeps out the hat-trick ball then pumps the final ball of the over back over Moeen’s head for four. Fine return from Moeen who has rattled through a nine-over spell – 9-0-40-4
Henry c Root b Moeen 0 He’s on a hat-trick. Smart take (at the second attempt) by Root as Henry flashes hard at an off-break which flies at slip. FOW 169/8
Jamieson c&b Moeen 15 Shaped for a full-blooded drive but had second thoughts when he encountered the dip and plinked it straight back to the bowler. FOW 169/7
Jamieson tees off again but can only take two from his legside swipe and Livingstone gives the next ball more air and gets it to rip past the edge as he swings hard.
Jamieson frees his arms to spank Moeen over mid-off for four. Good to see. He made a decent case to be Southee’s replacement with the ball. Why not try to underline it with the bat.
Livingstone almost gulls Jamieson with the flipper but as he shuffled back he managed to get his bat down quickly to keep it out as it skidded through. They run five singles from the rest of the over and on come the drinks.
Two more wickets required. Maybe three. Southee won’t bat. Lister, who may fancy replacing him in the World Cup squad, ought to be protecting his hamstring in case NZ need him in India.
Three singles off Moeen’s seventh over. England are using the opportunity to give their spinners lengthy spells. They are running scenarios. NZ are not.
As soon as Nasser Hussain said ‘nothing loose from Livingstone’, the next ball he serves up is a full toss and Phillips kamikazes himself. Leg-spinners, like Lord Botham, have a happy knack of taking wickets with filth.
Phillips c Brook b Livingstone 25 Haha! Slaps a filthy full bunger straight down deep midwicket’s throat. FOW 142/6
Moeen reels off five dot balls to Ravindra who cannot pierce the infield. He thinks about going over the top but when he does the ball mercifully (for him) comes down just out of Root’s reach at mid-on. Ravindra ends the over by driving for two down through extra-cover.
New Zealand are just drifting here. England are bowling well and the odds are stacked against them on this pitch. But, like we said on Wednesday, batting overs is no good. Practise scenarios. Imagine you need 100 off the next 12, try to tick that off as it will come in useful for the World Cup. Not this. Five singles off Livingstone, not a single stroke swung in anger … or ambition.
Moeen goes for the slider from round the wicket that did for Latham to Ravindra but he starts it too straight and it drifts down for a wide. The left-hander drives two through cover and then burgles a single with a push and run in the same direction. Two more singles are earned but the rate keeps mushrooming.
Ravindra works two off-breaks through mid-on for singles, the second of which was helped by David Willey’s stiff legs. Phillips cuts a leg-break down to point for a single.
Ravindra gets off the mark first ball by turning a single through square leg but that does little damage to Moeen’s figures of 4-0-12-2.
Nicholls lbw b Moeen 41 Nicholls is spewing about that. He thought he hit it and was a long way down but when it went to DRS it suggested that the bat hit the pad not the ball and the ball was hitting the leg bail. FOW 122/5
Liam Livingstone comes on to bowl both ways. Phillips squirts a leg-break down to point for two and works another off his legs. The over is bookended with off-breaks to Nicholls which he milks for singles into the legside.
Moeen slams the brakes on again, going for only three singles, one of them absolutely hared by Phillips, head down, arms pumping.
NZ need 197 off 162 balls.
Nicholls is starting to press his case very late for a World Cup call-up by playing a sweet flick through midwicket off a Carse thunderbolt for four. Nicholls loosens his grip to push a single to cover and Nicholls twists the wrists to whip two past the square leg umpire.
Phillips, as a right-hander, finds it easier to get Moeen away for singles. Nicholls works two of them against the turn.
Phillips is a livewire as a batsman and starts at a lick, drilling Carse for a drive through mid-off, a proper worm-burner, for four followed by a square drive for another and a back-foot drive on the up through cover for two. Inbetween those scoring strokes, Carse genuine troubles Phillips with nasty bounce.
Terrific start from Moeen who has Latham ‘out’ twice in three balls. An off-spinner to left-handers from the Nursery End can be devilishly tricky.
Latham b Moeen 13 Two balls after pinning him leg-before with a slider but failing to review because he thought it was only clipping at best (DRS showed three reds) Moeen slides another down the slope and Latham tried to pull it. Moeen did him in the flight, the ball cannoned into his pad and on to leg stump. FOW 88/4
Moeen Ali takes a wicket in his first over! 💫 pic.twitter.com/HotyHJ2ZqF
Nicholls and Latham are playing themselves into form, gaining confidence by middling the ball defensively and finding gaps for four singles. But when Carse comes round the wicket he beats Nicholls with a jaffa that follows him, whistling past the edge.
Three singles for the two left-handers, two of them to Nicholls, off Sam Curran. NZ require 228 off 198 balls which isn’t too stern an ask. But they’re a long, long way form home with a man down.
These two have been testing the field with some very tight runs. Bairstow’s torpedo throw from deep midwicket almost catches Latham short at the non-striker’s as he came back for two. Carse’s pace and jarring bounce are reminiscent, as we have been told a thousand times, of Liam Plunkett. Odd that he didn’t make the cut for the team and the three left-armers did.
I don’t for the life of me understand why cricketers after what happened to Simon Jones in 2002 would slide by landing on their knees when chasing a ball. Moeen Ali does just that and gouges out a divot the size and depth of a soup plate. He seems all right but it’s crazy.
Before that Latham had timed the pants off an on-drive for four and the stroke that made Moeen flirt with a knee catastrophe earned Nicholls three.
Latham works two off his toes but tries to get off strike by stealing a single to mid-on. Nicholls sends him back, wisely. He would have been run out by half the length of the pitch, as Sam Curran proves with a direct hit. The last ball of this impressive Carse over, in which he does breach 90mph, climbs alarmingly on Latham and he fiddles after it. England ponder a review for an edge but Carse and Buttler agree that he didn’t hit it … and he didn’t.
Curran replaces Willey from the Nursery End and almost strangles Latham first ball as the keeper-batsman-captain has a lazy-looking flick off his pads. But he didn’t touch it so it’s called wide. Fine margins. Latham hustles a leg-bye and Nicholls climbs into the short ball and pans a pull to the short boundary in front of the Allen Stand for six!
He’s a strapping lad Brydon Carse and is too quick for Mitchell with a dislocated finger to have a yahoo at.
Mitchell b Carse 4 Neck and crop as Mitchell went for a booming drive, skidding on through the gate to knock back off stump. Pushing 90mph. FOW 52/3
Brydon Carse into the attack and into the wickets 🌪️
Daryl Mitchell goes for 4! pic.twitter.com/U4fOWn0gaR
Maiden from Willey who has been bowling beautifully here. Twice he has the classy, run glutton Mitchell groping at the ball outside off but without the reward of wood.
Nicholls, who did not make the cut for the Kiwis’ World Cup squad, climbs into Topley’s short ball and carves it behind point for four. Brutal.
Curran dives headlong to claw back Nicholls’ square drive from the fence, saving one as the right-hander finally gets off the mark. Willey ekes out Young and Mitchell walks to the crease with his sore finger. It doesn’t stop him whisking the first ball off his pads for two. Willey is penalised for five wides when he hoops one into Mitchell’s pads and the ball kisses the bottom of the left leg-guard and scuttles down to the boundary. Buttler and Root want to send it to DRS to change it to leg-byes but you can challenge wide calls only in the IPL.
Young c Buttler b Willey 24 It threatened to pop out of the gloves but Buttler managed to clutch it to his chest. The left-armer has bowled beautifully and gets his just deserts with another that shapes down the corridor and carries on down the slope to the right-hander. FOW 38/2
David Willey with the breakthrough!
Smiles all round for England 😁 pic.twitter.com/j78y4p8RiF
Young starts to motor, whipping a pair of twos through midwicket off Topley before finally managing to free his arms into a pull, larruping it for four. The sweeper at midwicket doing all that chasing? David Willey, who may well be empathising with Les McQueen’s view of his trade.
David Willey is ticking because he feels there is a lack of justice. He has beaten Will Young outside off several times and does so again in this over. But he cannot do much more than give him a Paddington Bear stare and saves a proper volley for Harry Brook who is on his heels at mid-off and lets Young off strike. Willey stands with both hands on hips, the so called ‘double teapot’ which, more accurately, I have always thought, should be ‘the sugar bowl’.
To add insult to injury he crashes the final ball into Nicholls pads but cannot let off steam with an appeal as he knew he had angled it too far across and it was heading down.
Jofra Archer bowling, a packed Lord’s, England playing New Zealand – all the ingredients of the World Cup final of 2019, which had the greatest (because longest) climax of any cricket match. OK, Archer was bowling from the pavilion end, on a practice strip, with Andrew Flintoff keeping wicket with a mitt in place of Jos Buttler, but hey: some of the same ingredients of that famous day.
Topley is hooping it now and. although he is twice penalised for wides, the second of them flirted with Nicholls’ gloves as he shaped to pull. The last ball of the over tails the other way and Nicholls reaches too far to drive, thick-edging it a yard in front of slip.
Everything was just a little flat here until that superb Buttler run out. The early evidence has to be that England have a really good score. New Zealand were going nowhere, and the pitch is not that easy for batting. Only Malan has looked really fluent.
Conway run out 7 Called the single from the non-striker’s and paid the price after Topley’s inswinger crashed into the pads and squirted towards the leg slip area. Buttler raced towards it, removing his glove as he ran, swooped to pick it up and demolished the stumps with a shy, catching Conway short by a yard. FOW 24/1
RUN OUT! Brilliant from Buttler 👏⚡ pic.twitter.com/QTzlQOR9CQ
Streaky four from Young as he stretches across to cue end a drive past short third man. England think he’s a candidate both for caught behind and leg-before. Willey is shaping it both ways.
All hands from Conway as he stretches to rifle a square drive off Topley for four. Two big shouts in the over, both of them dying halfway up Topley’s throat when he pins first Conway and then Young. Conway’s was going down leg, Young’s came off an inside edge. Both add runs (off the bat and a leg-bye) to the score.
Young pokes a single through point and Conway gets off the mark, after a wide, with a single pushed to mid-on. A misfield by Moeen, diving over the ball at mid-on in pursuit of a Young drive, earns the right-hander three. Softly, softly. Southee cannot bat and Mitchell will find it painful to close his top hand grip having dislocated the ring finger of his left hand.
Left-armers of the world, unite and take over. Reece Topley takes the other new ball from the Pavilion End. As Mike Atherton says, he has found more rhythm and bowled better with each match. He catches Conway on the crease, leaving late, fishing after deliveries that climb and swing away. Good start. Maiden.
Attractive shape, as ever, from Willey and he beats Will Young on the angle with swing, searing it away from the bat. Young, a Test opener by temperament and upbringing, plays cautiously but leans elegantly into a defensive push with such good timing that he eases it through point for four.
He has both dislocated and fractured the thumb of his bowling hand. I don’t think he would be in the best NZ World Cup XI but that is still a blow.
The break was supposed to be 40 minutes. Having said that, taking three hours and 55 minutes to complete an innings ought to eat into the break.
It looked like Malan was playing a different game to his team-mates, timing his drives beautifully, thumping square cuts and mowing sixes to cow corner. Only Buttler had moments of similar fluency but everyone else was unable to judge the pace off the pitch consistently and batted with ugly efficiency, those who contributed at least. But Root, who looks thoroughly out of sorts, apart, I suspect that was more to do with the pitch than any real failings in technique and form. But they still made more than 300, 50 or so above par, and with injuries to Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee and Ben Lister, NZ will struggle to get close.
Play will resume at 5.05pm.
Carse ends the innings with a long, long six over long off, a slower ball in his arc. He started the over with a chip over cover for two and survives for a single when Phillips scurries as only he can to try to reach a swipe over mid-on. But he can’t get his hands underneath it at full stretch.
Willey c sub (Boult) b Mitchell 19 Skies a cutter with the pace off to long off. FOW 304/9
Look at the guns on Dave Willey. Henry pitches up outside off and the left-hander just flat bats it over extra-cover for six. Willey gets his bat down quickly to jab a single into the legside and, after Carse middles a drive for a single to long off, brings up England’s 300 with a delicate reverse scoop for four.
Jamieson bowls out with a mere five off his final over to leave him with one for 53. He gave them nothing to hit, forcing them to crawl along with nudges and nurdles.
Willey works the angle from Henry’s round the wicket line to tickle it fine for four and then chisels out a yorker for a single. Curran and Willey take a single apiece with controlled pulls off bouncers of varying paces before Curran is castled when trying to blast England to 300 and beyond.
Curran b Henry 20 Lovely bowling even if Curran was loose in trying to drive him. From round the wicket, Henry got one to snake through the gate and knock back off stump. FOW 282/8
Livingstone gets out trying to slog sweep an 82 mph delivery and missing the ball. Enter Willey who thrashes at successive deliveries but doesn’t connect and then, instead of chewing up even more deliveries, takes the single with a pull. Curran isn’t finding it too difficult to find his timing and gorges on width, thrashing it through cover for four, all eye- and hand-speed.
Livingstone lbw b Jamieson 28 Indeed, it was plumb. Low full toss that hit him on the top of the boot in front of middle and leg. FOW 270/7
HUGE wicket! Liam Livingstone goes for 28 ✖️ pic.twitter.com/kDNceS9EXu
Livingstone lbw b Jamieson Looks stone dead to me.
Horizontal Harry, Sam Curran, cleaves two with a cross bat to the point sweeper then dances down to Ravindra to clump another four swinging from the hip over mid-off.
Curran waits and waits and waits for Mitchell’s slower ball and scythes it in front of point for four. Three singles also go on the scoreboard but this pitch is exasperating the batsmen. Curran will be difficult to hit on this one, too, though.
Ravindra ends the over with 9-0-50-4 after Curran gets off the mark first ball with a straight drive. Livingstone, a picture of frustration, chops a big heave into the ground and finally gets away by filleting point with a cut.
Moeen c sub (Boult) b Ravindra 3 Lucky to have got away with a wide the previous ball, Ravindra tosses it wider still and Moeen could have left it. Perhaps the previous one not being called persuaded him to take it on but it was a too much of a stretch and he cloths it high to mi-off where Boult first tries to catch it with his fingers pointing up but succeeds in only tipping it upwards. But he completes the catch with his fingers pointing downwards. The reverse cup reversed. FOW 250/5
Straight up and taken…eventually! 😅😳
Moeen Ali is caught by Trent Boult, another wicket for Ravindra 💥 pic.twitter.com/iRkUoEGuIM
Mitchell messes with batsmen’s calibrations. He bowls it into the pitch, using cross-seam to make the bounce unpredictable and slides his fingers down one side of the ball to make it wobble and take even more pace off. He also flirts with the wide lines. England can take him for only four singles and a wide, huff and off as they might.
Ravindra has taken some tap but he does take wickets. Interesting how captain’s views of spinners have changed over the past 15 years. The economy rate doesn’t matter, it’s all about the wickets again. That philosophy has been the making of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in white-ball cricket. Their job is to take wickets. It’s the same for ‘Chinny’ Ravindra.
Malan c Latham b Ravindra 127 Scratches a bottom edge through to the keeper when reaching to square cut the slow left-armer’s wider one. FOW 243/5
Horrible way to go, isn’t it, edging a square-cut at a widish ball… but Dawid Malan has signed off this season in style with his 127. So assuming Malan and Jonny Bairstow open, who should be the reserve batsman? I wouldn’t have thought that Jason Roy and his back can be risked, so let Harry Brook be the reserve batsman in the party – he may have played only a handful of ODIs but has enormous growth potential as a middle-order player. As for the reserve opening batsman, there is someone who has opened 21 times in ODIs: Moeen Ali.
Mitchell makes a cross-seamer spit up at Livingstone and crack him on the top rib. Yikes! That hurt. Two big wides in an otherwise tidy over, one ballooning over the batsman, the other would not have hit an 11th stump. The last, eighth ball, draws the edge but the lack of pace in this moribund pitch means it dies infuriatingly (for Mitchell) short of Latham.
That six off Ravindra’s over spooked Latham and he brings back Henry. But with an even worse fate in store for his gun bowler. Livingstone flogs the slower ball over mid-off for a flat six then, after Livingstone works one to midwicket, Malan gobbles one up from outside off, swinging it high into the long pasture at deep midwicket for his third six.
Malan hustles two singles, Livingstone a single and two down to long leg. Double Nelson.
Malan cuts Ravindra for two and then takes on the longest boundary with a slog sweep, mowing it six rows back into the grand stand with a Moeen-esque slog sweep up the slope.
The NZ dressing room/infirmary receives another patient when Ben Lister twangs his hamstring chasing Malan’s second single of the over to midwicket. That’s another four overs Latham will have to find from Mitchell and Phillips.
Livingstone taps the ball fine of point for a single off Jamieson and, after giving himself a five-ball sighter, he winds up and tries to go over long off with such a massive yahoo that he almost hits himself on the backside in his followthrough after missing the ball. Winding his neck in, he flicks two though midwicket to complete the over.
Mitchell only has a plaster on his dislocated finger now and is given the ball. And he celebrates with an exuberant ‘Yeeeeeeeees!’ when he bags Buttler. And, as Barry Norman insisted he never said, why not? Enter Livingstone as No6 – he and Moeen float in that role, whoever suits a right-left duo in the middle going in first.
Buttler c sub (Boult) b Mitchell 36 Buttler walks off with a face like thunder after clearing his front leg and whooshing his hands through the line as if hitting a puck not a ball. The ball was a touch too full to get under and he chipped it to mid-off. FOW 195/4
"Jos Buttler will be livid." 😠
Daryl Mitchell with a BIG wicket for New Zealand, England four down! pic.twitter.com/c68IMqEeQo
Dawid Malan, in this series, has batted exactly like the best opening batsmen do in south Asia. They accumulate at almost a run a ball without taking any risks in order to build a big hundred. Malan has slotted into that role perfectly in Jason Roy’s absence, leaving Jonny Bairstow to play the early shots in the first ten-over powerplay. The only blemish was a brief phase when Malan kept trying to steer Kyle Jamieson to third man.
I don’t think England have to look any further than Bairstow and Malan as their opening pair for this World Cup. A left- and right-hand opening pair is always worth having: a few leg-byes and the odd wide do help to get the scoreboard ticking.
The highest winning chase at Lord’s on its horrid, dry pitch over the past 10 years is England’s 255 for six against Pakistan in 2016.
Buttler mistimes a scoop, not as badly as Root did with his three attempts, and flips it for two. A push through mid-on keeps the strike.
Malan moves to 99 with an edge past Latham for four. The keeper makes a fine effort but it’s too far from his arc to reach. Four balls later he brings up his fifth ODI hundred with a whisk off his pads down to deep backward square for two. It took him 96 balls and included one six and 14 fours.
Lister angles one across Buttler from round the wicket and the captain flicks it stylishly off his hip for four. Buttler goes up en pointe to steer a single down to third man and Malan edges closer with a push to mid-off for one.
No more reliable money shot for Malan than the drive and Henry gives him too much width, paying the price as the left-hander creams it square for four. Opening the face earns him a single to take him to 93 and Buttler works a single to cover and flicks two more off his toes through midwicket.
Lister looks like a decent prospect, banging the ball into the pitch from both side of the wicket. Could be a useful buy for the Blast or Hundred if he can get clearance from the NZ board. Just two singles off the over.
Latham has to turn back to Henry sooner than he would have wanted after Phillips’ 16-run mauling in the previous over.
Buttler determines that Phillips has to go during this Powerplay and lamps an off drive for six, all hands like the hockey-player he was, followed by a four to third man off a thick edge as he rocked back to cut. The England captain sweeps hard for two and goes down town again off the final ball, thumping it for a one-bounce four.
Lister replaces Ravindra after the spinner’s two-wicket spell at the Pavilion End. Malan steers a single down to third man. Buttler doubles the meagre return from the over by playing tip and run into the offside.
Dawid Malan is spectacularly consistent, and should have locked a place down at the top of the order in India now. He has centuries in his last four ODI series, and is England’s equal-fastest to 1,000 runs in the format. He didn’t quite crack Test cricket, and sometimes appears a bit slow off the mark in T20. But he’s perfect for this.
Buttler’s timing is as shonky as Brook and Root’s at the start of his innings. He comes down to Phillips and spoons a drive off the toe into the no man’s land between mid-off and the cover sweeper. They run two and exchange singles off the off-spinner to end the over.
No pace in the pitch and Ravindra is exploiting that cannily by playing with the batsmen’s timing. They have to sit and wait for the ball and Malan could not middle the previous ball as he skelped it down to deep backward square. Brook picked his shot on length but was through his shot too soon.
Brook c Phillips b Ravindra 10 Curtains for his slim hope of bagging a late World Cup call-up. Ravindra drops short but the ball sticks in the pitch a bit and Brook mistimes his pull, dragging it to mid-on. A shot that hit every branch of the ugly tree on its descent to earth. FOW 139/3
Harry Brook cloths is straight to Phillips at mid-wicket 😬 pic.twitter.com/N2nvrEDySn
Shouts of ‘Catch it!’ as Brook uses his feet to Phillips and lofts him straight, clothing it off the toe. But no fielder is within the postcode and they jog two as it plugs 20m in from the rope.
Another good over from Ravindra, keeping them down to a single apiece, both to cover.
Malan has got the measure of Jamieson after taking his time, which is something Root didn’t do. He crunches a cover drive for four, fillets a square cut for another and then brings up his 1000th run in ODIs by mowing a pull for six off the front foot. He joins Jonathan Trott, counterintuitively, and Kevin Pietersen, natch, as the fastest, ahem, Englishman to 1,000 ODI runs off 21 innings. The secret to it? Learning to play in South Africa.
A capacity crowd came to Lord’s to watch England batting – and have instead had to watch Bambi skating on ice. Amazing to behold – and encouragement for us ordinary mortals – that Joe Root can bat so badly against pace during his innings of 29.
At least Root made a few runs against the left-arm spin of Rachin Ravendra before being bowled by him. He pulled a long-hop for four and dispatched a full toss, and even slog-swept a decent delivery for six, but it was still horrible to see how far he has flopped since his batting in the Ashes. What a difference between his red-ball and white-ball batting.
Root’s innings was painful to watch but Ravindra shows us he has the skill and nerve to thrive. Yes, there were some very loose deliveries but since that costly over he has been excellent, using the slope.
Brook, in his favourite position at No4 after trying to audition as an opener, square cuts for a single and Malan continues his golden streak with a withering reverse sweep for four.
Mitchell is out there fielding with his finger looking mummified.
Root b Ravindra 29 Slow left-armer comes round the wicket and Root lines up a slog sweep, loses his balance as he has to reach for it, misses the ball and loses his off stump. FOW 107/2
"Joe Root at the moment is not himself" 😕
BIG wicket for New Zealand 💥 pic.twitter.com/SPWtld7xRi
Malan has had enough of poking and scratching at Jamieson so goes for a big heave across the line, smacking it through midwicket for four. Jamieson goes wider next ball and Malan square drives for two then takes a single to the point sweeper off a low full toss.
Better from Ravindra and he keeps them down to three singles, two to Malan through the legside and Root’s down to long-on.
Jamieson, meanwhile, is bowling beautifully, whistling two past Malan’s edge before the left-hander finally connects and slices a single down to third man. Root tries the reverse ramp for a third time and for the third time he connects only with fresh air.
Root ends the over with a leg-glance for four. Southee has gone to hospital. Mitchell would normally be a contender to bowl some of six remaining overs but he has also dislocated a digit. Which leaves Phillips’ offies.
Root is give a route to fluency with Ravindra’s menu of pies. The left arm Mrs Miggins starts with a full toss that Root slaps over midwicket for four then serves up a long hop that he carts for six.
Fifty for Malan after driving Jamieson for a single through mid-off, pushing his average above 60 from 21 ODIs. Root works a single off his hip and then Jamieson ends the over with a ripper that snakes away from Malan’s edge.
Those hands 👌
Up and running @HomeOfCricket 🏏#ENGvNZ | @dmalan29 pic.twitter.com/bAcHpfPfZY
Latham calls Ravindra into the attack, weirdly given Jamieson had gone for merely three off his two-over spell. The slow left-armer starts with a pie and Root collars it, cuffing through midwicket for four. Out come the brooms as Root sweeps for one and Malan paddles for two. Ah, Jamieson is changing ends.
Root nudges a single through the onside and then Malan pulls Lister for two. When the left-armer goes fuller and gets it to shape away, Malan throws his hands at a drive and edges it wide of the keeper for four.
When Root gets back on strike he is given another life when he nicks the left-arm seamer and Southee, in that fourth slip position, dives to his right and grasses it. He seems to have dislocated his right thumb. He runs off for treatment. Mitchell, Allen and Southee have all been injured in that position now. At least Mitchell held on. NZ now have three subs on, two for starters, one for a sub. And they will probably have to find some overs if Southee and Mitchell have sore hands.
Let that drop, by a wide slip off an attempted cut, be the piece of luck that every batsman needs to get his form and confidence back, and Joe Root at the moment. Had that slip catch been held it would have been Root’s sixth single-figure score in succession, for England and Trent Rockets (the last thing he needs is 100-ball cricket where he has to hit the ball harder and loses his natural shape).
Root has tried two ramps so far, and missed. Far better to walk towards the ball. It is painful to watch a great batsman struggling as he has been – and exactly as he did in the World Cup final of 2019 – but “per ardua ad astra” as they used to say in Rome.
Maiden from Jamieson. England have scored twice as many runs (40) off the bat from bowlers at the Nursery End than the Pavilion End.
Root again tries the late cut with a ball that bounces too much and too close to his body to play it and he carves it to slip’s right. Finn Allen dives and spills it. Came at knee height. Root is like a cat on a hot tin roof out there, like that time he had the squits at the SCG in 2018.
I see the England selectors have dropped Ben Stokes. Harsh, but it’s the only way he’ll learn to go on with it when he gets a start. #ENGvNZ
Double change: Kyle Jamieson is given the Pavilion End and the slope to work with. Malan is batting with poise and chops a single down through third man. Root, by contrast, is scratching around for some fluency. He skips down to Jamieson and flashes a big drive that sails off the edge down to third man for two and then he is pinged on the gloves when trying a favourite, dabby back-cut.
Ben Lister replaces Tim Southee. Root whisks a third single off his pads and Malan drives the left-arm seamer through mid-off for one. Shades of the first ball of the match when Root looks to flick across the line and the ball takes the leading edge and flies wide of a diving slip. They run a single then Malan uses the angle across him to tickle a four fine of the short fine leg.
Oh, Scyld! He did it again. After exchanging singles with Malan, Root goes for the reverse scoop again and swishes at thin air. There is an obstinacy about him and his use of that shot this year.
Malan relieves the pressure with a thumping square drive for four followed by a pull for another when Southee bangs it in. Fine leg is inside the circle, dives high to his left but was nowhere near it. Make that three in a row when Southee errs wide again and Malan pumps it uppishly through extra-cover.
Such an important innings for Joe Root today, as it has been so long since he scored ODI runs – and such a daft shot when he tried to ramp his sixth ball, bowled by Matt Henry (these NZ seamers are too good to be messed around by a batsman out of form). Root has plenty of time to play himself in and get a score under his belt – or his seat-belt on the plane to India.
NZ decide not to review when Root jumps through 90° to try the reverse scoop and there is a possibility of an inside edge on to the pad before it spoons into Latham’s gloves. Wisely so, too, as there was no bat. Odd to see Root so skittish … but I suppose that’s only a perception that holds water because he didn’t connect with the shot.
Malan drives Southee from round the wicket for two but the bowler ends that experiment after firing a wide across the left-hander. When he comes back over the wicket he twice pins Malan, via a feather of inside edges. They jog a single off the second of them as the ball carroms behind point.
Both opening bowlers have been magnificent this afternoon.
Fine over from Henry to dismiss Bairstow, plugging away at 85mph on off stump, using the seam to move it both ways. Mitchell seems to have dislocated the ring finger on his left hand in taking the catch. Enter Root who walks down to Henry and tries to whisk it off off-stump through midwicket and is beaten. Root laughs … as well he might, in relief presumably.
Bairstow c Mitchell b Henry 13 Excellent catch low to his left at second slip (there is no first slip). Bairstow nicks off after Henry angles the ball in and tempts it to straighten. Bairstow, in his desire to impose himself, drives at it and edges. Mitchell shouts that he caught it fairly when Bairstow questions it and the umpires send it upstairs to prove that he indeed did. FOW 28/1
EDGED AND GONE!
Jonny Bairstow caught brilliantly at slip by Daryl Mitchell 💪 pic.twitter.com/0oA20FKYyv
More streaky slashing from Bairstow, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at a drive and edging it over the slips for a single. Malan’s thighpad earns England two leg-byes and, after almost chipping an inswinger that sticks in the pitch and pops up just short of mid-on, the left-hander nails a midwicket flick with Swiss timing for four. So far Malan is batting, Bairstow is hitting. Strokes vs shots.
Bairstow hares back for two after a streaky drive over point. It wasn’t full enough to drive and the ball took the edge as Bairstow’s bottom hand flew off the bat. Isa Guha and Kumar Sangakkara think, citing the evidence of the World Cup group matches his partner missed against Afghanistan and those two defeats by Sri Lanka and Australia, that Bairstow always bats more frantically when Roy is absent.
Bairstow middles a drive later in the over for two and then again for a single.
Swing for Southee with the other new ball and Malan covers two induckers with blocks until the bowler gives him some width and Malan takes a big stride down and creams it through the covers for four. Shot! Two balls later Southee pushes it out wide again but without swing and Malan eases a square drive for another four.
Blimey! He almost does depart first ball, closing the face too soon as he tries to work Matt Henry off middle. The ball sticks in the pitch a bit and takes a leafing edge, spooning over point for two. The next ball is clumped far more convincingly, driven between cover and mid-off for four. A bottom edge off a pull dies before the keeper and then Bairstow leaves one that jags back down the slope and Henry groans as he throws his hands to his temples.
Let’s see if Jonny Bairstow can survive the
diamondplatinumgolden duck scenario again.
Jofra Archer with England again today, which is good to see. He bowled with reasonable heat in the warm-up, and is now going for a bat with assistant coach (and friend from Sussex) Carl Hopkinson. It’s just good to see him back around the game, and we may yet see him in India later this year.
And the bittersweet emotions of watching on after career-saving surgery as his mates won the World Cup in 2019:
"I'm feeling really good" 💪
Reece Topley reflects on the ODI series vs New Zealand 💭 pic.twitter.com/L9OnItbZhl
England Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (capt, wk), Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, David Willey, Brydon Carse, Reece Topley.
New Zealand Will Young, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (capt, wk), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Ben Lister.
It’s a beautiful day for batting, and England have rested some of their more delicate assets. There is still no Jason Roy, which is starting to get really squeaky in terms of whether they can take him to the World Cup. They may announce their squad as soon as tomorrow. If he’s in it, he surely has to play against Ireland next week?
Henry and Southee replace Ferguson and Boult for the Black Caps.
Brook, Carse and Willey replace Stokes, Woakes and Atkinson for England.
And will bat first.
And Jason Roy is reported to have taken a full part in fielding drills.
Good afternoon and welcome to coverage of the fourth ODI between England and New Zealand which marks the end of the international summer for the World Cup squad despite three further ODIs for Zak Crawley’s irregulars against Ireland next week. England, after thumping back-to-back victories at Southampton and the Oval, lead the series 2-1 and key parts of their strategy to defend the World Cup – the batting of Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, the all-round strength of Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali, and the bowling of Chris Woakes, Reece Topley, David Willey and Gus Atkinson, have encouraged optimism about their prospects in India next month.
But there are still concerns about the form of Joe Root, and the fitness of Adil Rashid, Jason Roy and Mark Wood, the last two of whom are yet to appear. Roy’s team-mates will want him with them, remembering how his recovery from injury during the 2019 World Cup and his pair of sixties in the must-win matches against New Zealand and India revived England’s faltering campaign. His supporters are relying on one of the daftest sayings in cricket, ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’, to argue that he should be given as long as he needs. No one has been as consistently destructive for England or embodied Morganism as Surrey’s dashing opener. Twelve centuries and 21 fifties are an exemplary record over the past eight years. But two back spasms in a week combined with the prospect of all those internal flights as England crisscross India to eight different venues for their nine group games, must be making the selectors jittery. Getting on the field today would give everyone (apart from Harry Brook) some reassurance.
As for Root – a man who averages 54 across 17 World Cup matches, a batsman of such pluck and skill is not going to be forced to the peripheries, especially given his threat with the ball in India, where he performed well on England’s last Test tour there and during the 2016 World T20. A decent knock would be helpful but it’s never make or break for him.
Finally, an apology for misclassifying Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal off the first ball of Wednesday’s match as a ‘diamond duck’ when it was nothing of the kind. No excuses … measure twice, cut once should always be a guiding philosophy even when you’re getting carried away.