Cow Corner

Shoddy England drop series

Cow Corner

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There you have it: England were completely out-played here today...they allowed the Kiwis to recover from a poor start, and were never in the run-chase in their own innings. 

Thanks for joining me this afternoon; make sure you stick around for all the latest news and reports.

England 215ao (48 overs) ALL OVER! NEW ZEALAND WIN BY 51 RUNS! Gillespie finishes it as Anderson slices a drive to Oram at point!

England 209-9 (46.1 overs) Shah enhances his already burgeoning reputation with some crafty shots as he tries to get England as close as possible. BUT HE EVENTUALLY PERISHES, SLICING A DRIVE DOWN TO MARSHALL AT DEEP MID-OFF! Great knock of 69 from 75, but he had far too much to do.

England 188-8 (44 overs) BROAD HOLES OUT! The lanky all-rounder chips a low full toss to square-leg, where Flynn takes an easy catch. The writing is on the wall. New Zealand have been utterly dominant in this match from about 25 overs into their own innings. 

England 185-7 (43 overs) Owais Shah passes his fifty off 63 balls, celebrating with a superb paddle for four behind square on the leg side. Shah has been comfortably England's best batsman this series - although he has had no competition. 

England 167-7 (41 overs) The run-rate has become largely irrelevent at this stage. England have blown this. Again, only Shah stands out. He is currently 40 from 53 balls. 

England  164-7 (39.1 overs) THE PROCESSION GOES ON! Perhaps a bit unfair to start blaming the England middle-order and tail when it is again the top-order that has let the side down...Swann is the departing batsman this time, flicking a Kyle Mills bouncer into his ribs fine through to McCullum, who takes a diving catch down the leg-side.

England 138-6 (35 overs) AMBROSE COMPLETES HIS SHOCKER! After putting down the easiest of catches in the field earlier, Ambrose puts the cap on a shoddy day by spooning a simple catch to gully as Vettori picks up his third wicket of the innings. This has been a sorry, sorry effort from England.  


England 130-5 (32 overs) WRIGHT BOWLED! The batsman rocks back, trying to cut through the off-side...but the ball is fuller than he thinks, and beats his shot. A return of 6 runs from 22 balls is not what England wanted. 

England 123-4 (31 overs) Shah flicks a well-timed four through the leg-side as Vettori drops a little short, but the required rate has crept up to 7.57...

England 107-4 (28 overs) Wright is a positive batsman; it's difficult to imagine him sticking around, pushing singles for 15 overs. Vettori is tempting him, tempting him...he has his mid-on and mid-off inside the circle, seeing if the batsman has the guts to go over the top...not at present he hasn't. Impressive discipline from Wright and Shah. 

England 101-4 (25 overs) ANOTHER BATSMEN GETS SET, AND THEN GETS OUT! Bopara makes 30 before being deceived by the flight of a Vettori delivery, which beats his late dab and bowls him. England are making a right royal mess of this. In comes Luke Wright to join Shah, who again becomes the main focus of England's hopes... 

England 90-3 (22 overs) Chris Cairns, son of Lance, spotted in the Lord's crowd. Sourav Ganguly, also. The glitterati of world cricket, here to see England shoot themselves in the foot. Everyone loves to see the Mother Country on their knees, don't they? Bopara and Shah are content to nudge the singles as they bid to get England back on track. 

England 86-3 (20 overs) SOUTHEE BAGS PIETERSEN! CRAP SHOT! The England skipper steers a short, wide one from the young seamer straight into the hands of Oram at gully. Really poor shot from KP, and it leaves England up against it now. 

England 81-2 (19 overs) Bopara and Pietersen are just taking things with a touch of caution at the moment; probably sensible - a rebuilding job is needed at the moment. Vettori will be keen to put the squeeze on soon, to increase the pressure - something which KP failed to do when the Kiwi innings stalled a little around this point. 

England 69-2 (16 overs) Bopara is the new batsmen; he should be filled with confidence after his half-century on Wednesday - and he's been flailing County bowlers around all year. Could be a big game for him. 

England 60-2 (13.1 overs) COOK GOES! SOUTHEE STRIKES WITH HIS SECOND BALL! Cook's rather listless innings comes to an end as Southee gets one just to move away from the left-hander, and he nicks it behind, undone by a lack of bounce. Further proof, really, that Cook just isn't suited to the one-day game. When England will realise that, I'm not sure. 

England 58-1 (13 overs)  Pietersen, 10th in the ICC ODI batting rankings and the stand-in England skipper, strides to the crease. It will be interesting to see how the captaincy effects his batting. I'd like to see a return to the old swashbuckling KP that we all fell in love with (swoon...). Not the frankly bland, celery-loving vegetarian that he has become.

England 53-1 (11.1 overs) BELL GOES, LBW! He's not happy, but when you walk across your stumps and get hit halfway up your pads on haven't really got a leg to stand on. 

England 45-0 (10 overs) You've gotta like Danny Vettori's beard, haven't you. Looks well established, but trim enough to remain pleasing to the eye. And specs, too. As a fellow spectacle-wearer, Cowers does enjoy seeing a sportsman in combat still wearing his giggs. Bell takes advantage of a couple of lose ones to keep the scoreboard ticking.

England 35-0 (8 overs) Much like the Kiwi innings, this...bit slow and cautious. Long gone are the pinch-hitting days pioneered by Sri Lanka, where a lower-order batsman would come in with the freedom to flail and maim his way through the opening 15 overs.

England 23-0 (5 overs) Cook mis-times a pull through mid-wicket for four as he gradually looks to find his feet...he still doesn't look incredibly convincing, though. And there's certainly no rushing him, either. Decent start for England though; especially considering they have all their attacking batsmen to come: KP, Bopara, Shah and Wright. 

England 10-0 (2 overs) Not such a confident start from Cook, who dangles his bat at a couple of away-darters from Mills; one takes the edge, but falls short of Styris, who damages his hand in stopping it. 

England 8-0 (1 over) Bell begins with two fours, flicked through mid-wicket. It's going to be an interesting chase, this one - but I'm backing England. They will be desperate not to lose this series, and KP will be fired up in his first marcg as skipper.

Hi there; hope you've enjoyed your lunch? 

New Zealand 266-5 (50 overs) Good effort in the end from the Kiwis, who recover from a slow start to post a challenging little total. England's bowling at the death is fairly woeful; there was no clear plan from the bowlers, and Styris, in particular, profitted. 

New Zealand 240-5 (48 overs) Styris and Elliot have put on 37 for the sixth wicket in just 24 balls. Anderson's final over - a bit of a shocker, in truth - goes for 12.

New Zealand 215-5 (46 overs) Styris brings up his half-century with a slightly top-edged hook off Anderson for ball he lofts for a couple over deep cover... A real test of KP's captaincy now, as the charge for the close begins...

New Zealand 201-5 (44 overs) HOLED OUT! Oram picks out the fielder at long off after being pegged down in Swann's final over! That will be a relief to England, because Oram was beginning to look very, very dangerous. The over-rate has now reached a near-acceptable level thanks to Swann and Shah, and KP will be delighted with how the first 45% of his captaincy debut has gone. 

New Zealand 198-4 (43 overs) KP is probably regretting this Shah experiment now. Oram smashes the part-timer for two enormous sixes through the leg side as he passes his half-century off just 37 balls. 17 from that last Shah over as the Kiwis release the handbrake. Fireworks from now on in... 

New Zealand 170-4 (40 overs) KP turns to Owais Shah for a bit of part-time spin in order to increase the over-rate, which has dropped off a little. England don't want to lose a second captain to a ban. Styris survives a third-umpire appeal for a stumping...very, very close. Good work from Ambrose, but perhaps Styris just gets his foot back in time.

New Zealand 161-4 (37 overs) A few signs that Oram and Styris are beginning to pick up the run-rate...Styris drives through cover for four, beating the dive of Bopara at point. 250 might not be out of the question, if these two can continue their revival. KP's captaincy? Fairly routine. No "in-yer-face" field settings, or obvious chirping to batsmen. All very low-key. Which is very un-Pietersen-like. Oram smashes the fifth ball of Wright's sixth over for a sweet six over long-on. I'd love to see Jacob Oram play golf...I bet he can smash the cover off a Callaway. 

New Zealand 136-4 (34 overs)  Here's a thought on Wednesday's run-out incident: Paul Collingwood is the one getting all the stick, but what about Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen's role? Had Bell not thrown the ball to KP at the non-striker's end with Elliott obviously down and injured in the middle of the pitch, Collingwood wouldn't have been put in the position where he had to make the decision. Bell and KP have rather ducked under the radar on this one, for me.

It reminds me of an incident when I was at infant school. One lunch-time, a girl in the year below me was upset badly in the playground by some nasty words by a horrible bully. The headmaster came into our class to ask whether anyone knew the identity of the heartless culprit, as the girl was too upset to reveal it. I hadn't seen the incident, and didn't know who had upset the poor girl. However, I did think I knew who it sounded like the work of, a renowned bully called James W. No, that's too obvious. Let's call him J Williamson... Anyway, I stuck my hand up, and said I saw him upsetting the girl. He was hauled out of class and had his mouth washed out with soap and water. Did I feel guilty? Not in the slightest. James W may not have upset the girl this time, but he had plenty of times before. He had it coming. I was only making sure justice was done. In many ways, I'm Judge Dread.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with the run-out incident, Collingwood, Bell and Pietersen. In truth, I have forgotten myself. Never mind.

New Zealand 121-4 (32 overs) GREAT BALL! SWANN DOES FOR FLYNN! A beautifully flighted off-spinner from around the wicket, pitching on middle, turning and hitting middle-and-off. The perfect delivery to a left-hander. Cowers feels well qualified to comment; he used to be an off-spinner of some repute. Local repute. As a youngster. 15 years ago.  

New Zealand 114-3 (29 overs) Like a fleet of truckers protesting against fuel-prices, the Kiwi go-slow continues. The run-rate over the last five overs has been bumped up to 5.2 as they begin to work some singles into the gradually retreating field, but overall it is still under four.

New Zealand 105-3 (27 overs) Bopara fails to hang on to a high one as Styris slices at Swann...he just couldn't get his chunky frame off the ground fast enough. Luke Wright Benny-Hills his way through another tidy over. The England over-rate, which Pietersen in particular will be keen to keep an eye on, isn't all that impressive at the moment, I have to say. The ICC will no doubt be dreaming up a suitable punishment as we speak. Possibly chopping off one of his hands.

New Zealand 90-3 (25 overs) Cowers loves you messageboard-junkies. Keep it coming. New Zealand seem to have dropped anchor a bit here. Even six-an-over from here would only make 241. Obviously, even that's a total that England would make a frightful meal of chasing...but the Kiwis could still do with pushing on a bit.

New Zealand 88-3 (24 overs) Lots of ranting going on down there on the messageboards regarding Colly-gate. Well done, buddies; you keep it up. Nothing like a good old ding-dong on the message boards. jasonmoores1970 suggests Pakistan and Australia would also have sent Elliott on his way if they had been involved in a similar incident. It seems unfair to highlight those two nations in particular, friend - I reckon most countries would have done the same, especially in such a tight situation.

New Zealand 75-3 (21 overs) I'll tell you what, readers; England will be delighted they have early wickets in this match, because after these three frontline bowlers - Broad, Anderson and Sidebottom - it all gets a little bits-and-pieces. Wright, Bopara, Swann...the Kiwis would fancy taking a few runs of those guys in the middle overs. Wright is into the attack...he approaches the crease like Benny Hill chasing a nurse...all hustle and bustle and wiggle and shake. He has a decent LBW appeal turned down - just pitched outside leg to Flynn. Perhaps. Very close.

New Zealand 71-3 (19 overs) ENGLAND HAVE ANOTHER! ANDERSON SNARES THE BIG ONE!  McCullum, who has been unusually circumspect this morning, goes back and edges one from Jimmy...Swann pouches the catch at second slip! Great stuff from England this morning.

New Zealand 64-2 (16 overs) McCullum's bat disintegrates on impact with the he pushes a single into the leg-side. Very peculiar. Perhaps the woodworm have been at it. Scotty Styris is the new batsman, and he seems to have come to the crease with the intention of pushing the scoring on a little.

New Zealand 54-2 (14 overs) BROAD AGAIN! England's baby-faced assassin tempts Taylor to nick one through to Ambrose! The keeper takes a comfortable catch, redeeming 5% of the respect he lost 20 minutes ago by dropping that dolly skier. 

New Zealand 47-1 (12 overs) England have won just two of their last 10 ODIs. That is a shocking record, when you think about it - especially considering how they continually big themselves up as being a good 50-over team. They are keeping the reins on the Kiwis at the moment, though. It's been a tight start with the ball from Broad, Sidebottom and Anderson. 

New Zealand 39-1 (10 overs) GOT HIM, FINALLY! The ball after Anderson puts down a nigh-on impossible chance at backward square-leg, Broad finally makes the breakthrough when Howe slices a drive to Bopara in the gully. Relief for England, who have fielded like chumps so far this morning. 

New Zealand 29-0 (9 overs) baileytom53 has had his two-penneth worth on the message boards regarding the "incident" on Wednesday. Just to clarify, buddy; Colly wasn't banned by the ICC for anything in regards to the run-out, but because of recent poor over-rates in ODIs. The ICC used to punish captains with fines, but found that inneffective, so have come down all Pol Pot on people's ass.

New Zealand 20-0 (6 overs) WHAT A MUPPET! How skies an attempted pull...Ambrose trots towards short fine-leg to get under it...but despite having huge clown gloves on...he spills the simplest of dollies! My grandma could have caught that. And she's 93. And hasn't been out of the house in five years. 

New Zealand 8-0 (3 overs) It's been a good start from Sidebottom and Anderson; they have been skinnier than a supermodel with their width. 

New Zealand 2-0 (1 over): Ian Smith in the Sky commentary booth says the Kiwis have "forgiven but not forgotten" the events of the other night. He reckons there is still a "bit of feeling" between the two sides... I hope it all kicks off again...that was some fantastic viewing on Wednesday. 

New Zealand 0-0: Here we go! This is the 19th time that England and New Zealand have met in international cricket in 2008! STAT ATTACK! England have dominated the Test matches, but the Kiwis are ahead in the ODIs...

10.39 -
England need a win to square the series at 2-2; they are, of course without regular skipper Paul Collingwood who is suspended after his team had a slow over-rate at The Oval. Stand-in Kevin Pietersen tells Mike Atherton at the toss that he will make sure his side are "sprinting round" today.

Alastair Cook comes into the side to open with Ian Bell, with Luke Wright dropping down the order to number six.

10.32 - Hi there! The news from the toss is that England skipper Kevin Pietersen has won the toss and stuck in the Kiwis. It's a pleasantly warm and dry day in north London - perfect weather for a right old ding-dong!

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