Dawid Malan at risk of being dropped by England for T20 World Cup despite world No 1 rank

·35-min read
Dawid Malan of England plays a shot during the India and England warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 18, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Dawid Malan of England plays a shot during the India and England warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 18, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

England are considering dropping Dawid Malan, the world No 1 T20 batsman, for Saturday’s World Cup opener against the West Indies as concerns grow about his form and suitability to conditions in the UAE.

Malan has an outstanding record for England in T20 cricket, averaging 43.2, with a strike rate of 139, from 30 matches. But there is a growing feeling that his style of play - typically taking 10 or 15 balls to play himself in before accelerating - is ill-suited to the challenge at this tournament.

In England’s second warm-up game against New Zealand on Wednesday, he scored only 11 off 15 balls in the total of 163-6, which set up a 13-run victory. Malan scored 18 off 18 balls in England’s first warm-up, the defeat to India, once again far below the scoring rate the rest of the team managed.

Moeen Ali’s fine recent form in the IPL, when he won the tournament with Chennai Super Kings, has also endangered Malan’s place. Moeen scored an undefeated 43 off only 20 balls against India in Monday’s warm-up game and now demands inclusion in the side.

If Malan were to be dropped, Moeen is the likeliest option to bat at number three. Moeen has performed the role in the IPL, where he is renowned for attacking from the start of his innings and his prowess against spin. Since the 2016 T20 World Cup, Moeen has a strike rate of 126 in the Powerplay, compared to Malan’s 115.

Liam Livingstone has regularly batted up the order in T20 franchise cricket, but England believe his power adds a significant dimension to the middle order at number five, from where he scored a T20 century against Pakistan last summer. England have also developed Jonny Bairstow into a number four, although it is possible that, were Moeen to replace Malan at number three, Bairstow and Moeen could be used flexibly.

While Malan has regularly played match-winning innings for England - he has been player of the match five times in his 30 games - his recent form has been less impressive. So far in 2021, Malan is averaging 26.8 for England, with a strike rate of just 114. His form in other T20 has also been underwhelming, averaging only 24.5 in his 33 games this year.

Though Malan could still cling onto his place, retaining him while selecting Moeen to bat at number seven would mean that England have a weaker bowling line-up. In such a team, Moeen and Liam Livingstone - two batting all-rounders in the format - would effectively share the role of fifth bowler.

If Malan were dropped, England could field either Chris Woakes or David Willey at number seven, with Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid also often lower order batting strength.

What we learned from England's victory over NZ

Warm-ups are about players finding form, not teams winning

The players might have been the same, but this game - played at a bucolic oval ensnared by grass banks - had an intensity that was more club match than international. Neither side played 11-a-side, and skipper Kane Williamson didn’t play for New Zealand. So, while a 13-run win was welcome for England, this match was far more about players stepping up their preparations for Saturday’s tournament opener than the result.

A repeat of this Malan innings could cost England matches in the World Cup

Two innings at No 3 in England’s warm-up games provided Dawid Malan with a chance to end the interminable debate about his role in the England side. Instead, it is now raging more than ever - and he is odds-on to be left out of England’s team to face the West Indies on Saturday.

Those opposed to Malan’s inclusion would have done well to compile a better case than this innings. Despite a sumptuous square drive for four from his second ball, Malan still reached his customary 10 off 10 balls. By the time the Powerplay was up, he had hit just 11 from 13 balls. After failing to score off his 14th, he then attempted a reverse sweep against legspinner Ish Sodhi and was lbw for an 11-ball 15.

In a sense, this innings was nothing new: amidst an outstanding start to his T20 international career - six player of the match awards and an average of 43.2 in 30 games - Malan has always produced innings in which he chews up deliveries and is then out before accelerating.

The problem for him is that the UAE is uniquely ill-suited to his style. Conditions demand batsmen exploit the Powerplay before it becomes harder to score: 74 per cent of games in the final stages of the IPL, played in the UAE over the last five weeks, were won by the team that scored more runs in the Powerplay. Winning the Powerplay is more important - and, with Malan, England are at greater risk of losing it.

England's other critical decision is where Moeen bats

After his crucial role in helping Chennai Super Kings win the IPL, and a sparkling 20-ball 43 not out in England’s previous warm-up game against India, Moeen Ali - who was rested against New Zealand - will surely play in the opening World Cup game with the West Indies. It is a game that also suits his weaker discipline: the West Indies’ abundance of left-handers - at least three in the top seven - will help his offspin.

There are two distinct options for the balance of England’s T20 team, and they revolve around where Moeen bats - a question that will only be resolved by the choice over Malan. The choice, essentially, is whether England should skew the balance of their side more towards batting or bowling.

In the first option - the Kevin Keegan template for playing T20 - Moeen would bat at seven, giving England an awesome arsenal of hitting. But this would come at a considerable cost, with Moeen and Liam Livingstone sharing responsibilities as the fifth bowler. That is a particularly undesirable prospect in the four out of five England group games that are day-nighters, when the dew is likely to be a major factor, rendering it harder for spinners to grip the ball and which could leave England at risk of not being able to defend whatever their imperious batting lineup can score.

In the second option, Moeen would bat at No 3. While he could still bowl, he would primarily be picked as a batsman, replicating the role he has generally payed for England recently: he has only bowled more than one over in two of his last 10 T20Is. Moeen, like Livingstone, would be an auxiliary to England’s five main bowlers. Either Chris Woakes or David Willey - probably Woakes - would be entrusted to bat at No 7, with Chris Jordan also offering lower-order batting prowess. If that team’s batting has a slightly less imperious feel, it also feels a better balanced side.

England must be creative in their use of spin

In a perverse way, the sight of Livingstone opening the bowling was another endorsement of the case to drop Malan. In a team without Malan, Livingstone would only be the sixth or seventh bowler, and quite possibly not required to bowl at all. But with him, he will have to share four overs with Moeen Ali. This possibility explained England’s eagerness to see how Livingstone, who can bowl offspin and legbreaks alike, would fare opening against New Zealand.

The answer was... not very well. Opener Martin Guptill, renowned for his weakness against high-class spin, slog-swept Livingstone’s first ball for six and then ended the over by thrashing him down the ground for another six. Although Livingstone later snared Glenn Phillips attempting a cut, he still ended with 1-29 from three overs. As with Moeen, Livingstone is best reserved for situations that suit him best - conditions that particularly favour spin, or batsmen vulnerable against it - rather than being a bowler for all-climes. That all means Adil Rashid, England’s sole specialist spinner, is even more crucial; his three wickets against NZ, as he reported feeling no pain in his shoulder, were reassuring.

England cannot afford to leave out Mills

Tymal Mills has not played a T20 international for four years. And yet he already feels like one of England’s most crucial players in the tournament.

With his unique style of bowling, generally eschewing yorkers, Mills has been the most economical bowler in the world in the death overs since the last T20 World Cup. By conceding just 23 from his four overs, including four runs in the 18th over, against New Zealand, he added to the sense that he simply must play.

England vs New Zealand, as it happened

01:42 PM

Okay, that's it from us today

Stay tuned for some Tim Wigmore analysis. We will be back for England's first match of the World Cup proper on Saturday when they take on the West Indies.

01:38 PM

England's bowling figures

Livingstone: 3 overs, 7 dot balls, 29 runs, 1 wicket @ 9.67 runs per over
Woakes: 3.2-9-31-1 @ 9.30
Wood: 4-13-23-4 @ 5.75
Mills: 4-6-24-0 @ 6.00
Rashid: 3-11-18-3 @ 6.00
Jordan: 2-3-18-0 @ 9.00

01:36 PM

NZ's scorecard in full

Guptill c Roy b Rashid 41 (20)
Seifert b Wood 8 (8)
Conway run out (Billings) 21 (23)
Phillips c Buttler b Livingstone 7 (5)
Chapman c Jordan b Rashid 1 (6)
Mitchell c Woakes b Wood 2 (5)
Santner b Rashid 0 (2)
Southee c Buttler b Wood 10 (11)
Jamieson c Jordan b Wood 3 (8)
Astle b Woakes 16 (13)

01:33 PM

WICKET! Astle b Woakes 16

And there it is. Woakes bowls Astle to secure England the win. Not sure if Astle hit his wicket. TV coverage and replays are fairly minimal. Whatever, it's a wicket for Woakes and England win.

NZ 150 all out


01:30 PM

It's Chris Woakes to bowl the final over

His last went for 22...

01:30 PM

OVER 19: NZ 149/9 (Sodhi 24* Astle 16*)

Singles the only thing the NZ batters have been able to get in the last two overs. Even now, Astle times a straight drive down the ground from a full ball and gets one for it, the fielder running in.

Here comes the boundary. A full toss from Jordan and Ish Sodhi gives it what it deserves. A big whack down the ground to the boundary for four.

Jordan's sixth delivery is a slower ball and Astle does not miss out, getting down on one knee and launching it for six over deep midwicket.

NZ require 15 from the final over... can they do it?

01:24 PM

OVER 18: NZ 135/9 (Sodhi 19* Astle 7*)

In the other warm-up match India chased Australia's 153 in 17.5 overs an win by eight wickets. Rohit Sharma retiring out with 60 and Suryakumar Yadav with 38 off 27 to help finish things off.

It's just four from Mills' final over. No wicket but bowled fairly tidily.

29 from 12 required for NZ.

01:20 PM

OVER 17: NZ 131/9 (Sodhi 17* Astle 5*)

Chris Jordan, who has taken a couple of catches, is bowling for the first time this match. Pretty solid start from him, with just four runs from it.

33 from 18 for New Zealand to win and one wicket for England to win.

01:14 PM

OVER 16: NZ 127/9 (Sodhi 15* Astle 3*)

Chris Woakes, 0-8 off his two, is back for the 16th over of the innings. Jason Roy goes down in the field and looks in a bit of pain. Possibly just twisted his ankle when throwing the ball in. Doesn't look serious.

Tell you what, this could be the shot of the innings. Not that there's been much to shout about since Martin Guptill was dismissed. Woakes sends in a slower one, full length, and Sodhi gets out the nine iron and clubs it over long on for six. And another! Not quite as well hit this time but it's six more. Back of a length that one. Short boundary, but still. 14 off five.

And what should have been the final ball of the over is an extraordinary thing. Todd Astle is moving on the crease and Woakes tries to follow him to the off side but almost doesn't land it on the cut strip. Buttler has no chance and it's four wides...

37 from 24 required for NZ. Back in it? No. Surely not.

01:08 PM

OVER 15: NZ 105/9 (Sodhi 1* Astle 1*)

Todd Astle sees off the hat-trick and pushes out to the off side for a single. Wasn't a yorker but a good line and length from Wood. The innings nearly ended with a run-out but there was no direct hit. Wood ends with 4-23 off his four.

01:05 PM

WICKET! Southee b Wood c Buttler 9

Two in two! Southee throws his arms at a fairly standard delivery but can only bottom edge it to Buttler behind the stumps. Four for Wood, who is now on a hat-trick.

FOW 103/9

01:04 PM

WICKET! Jamieson b Wood c Jordan 3

Mark Wood (2-20 so far) comes back for his final over of the innings. He gets a third wicket now... and England's eighth.

Jamieson's attempted drive is spooned into the air and Chris Jordan takes another catch in the mid-off/cover region.

FOW 103/8

01:01 PM

OVER 14: NZ 102/7 (Southee 9* Jamieson 3*)

Tymal Mills returns for his third over. 0-16 off his two so far. Jamieson is swinging at every one but fails to hit the first two, coming across him outside the off stump. He gets the third but it's just a single out to the leg side. Southee has long levers on him and could send it over the boundary. Don't think he'll die trying.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 20: Tymal Mills of England bowls during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhab - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 20: Tymal Mills of England bowls during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhab - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

That said, three singles in a row is all they can manage. Mills a little too good - and too quick - to do much more with. They're not winning this from here (and it shouldn't matter) so may as well spent a bit of time in the middle.

12:56 PM

OVER 13: NZ 98/7 (Southee 7* Jamieson 1*)

It is all falling apart for New Zealand here. 67 from 46 is far from impossible but when you are down to the tailenders...

Jamieson attempts a shot over mid off, doesn't get hold of it but the ball lands safely, so he picks up a single. Just one run from the first five balls. Make that one from the over.

12:53 PM

WICKET! Mitchell b Wood c Woakes 2

Mark Wood back and he gets a wicket nearly straight away! Mitchell tries a pull but it's onto him too quickly so he only mistimes it to Chris Woakes at midwicket who dives forward to claim a fairly straightforward catch.

FOW 97/7

12:52 PM

OVER 12: NZ 97/6 (Mitchell 2* Southee 7*)

First ball and it's a truly horrible full toss from Livingstone that Mitchell connects with, but it is spooned high in the air to deep square leg who takes the catch. It was a no ball, though. You wouldn't want to see a replay of the delivery again.

Southee punches one in the air through the covers and gets four for his efforts. A much-needed four.

NZ need 67 runs from 48 balls.

12:48 PM

OVER 11: NZ 88/6 (Mitchell 0* Southee 1*)

A slip and a leg slip in place for Rashid's final three balls. The run rate has crept up to 8.35 for New Zealand with two new batsmen at the crease. It's Daryl Mitchell and Tim Southee now, by the way. Can they get NZ close?

12:46 PM

WICKET! Santner b Rashid 0

Now Santner goes back to one he should have been going forward to and is bowled second ball for a duck!

Wickets tumbling here. And Adil Rashid very much in the wickets.

FOW 87/6

12:43 PM

WICKET! Chapman b Rashid c Jordan 1

Rashid gets another! Chapman tries to punch it down the ground but edges it to Jordan at slip (via Buttler' s gloves) who takes a fine, low catch.

FOW 87/5

12:42 PM

OVER 10: NZ 87/4 (Chapman 0* Mitchell 0*)

That will be the drinks break at the half-way point. NZ ahead of the rate but losing steady wickets now. To be fair that is exactly what happened to England, too.

12:40 PM

WICKET! Phillips b Livingstone c Buttler 7

Not a good first ball back. Short, wide and latched onto by Phillips. An ugly four down to third man. Really could have been called a wide if he didn't connect as well as he did.

Livingstone then tosses it up a bit, it turns a little. Phillips throws his hands at it but feathers it through to Buttler. That's better.

FOW 87/4

12:37 PM

OVER 9: NZ 81/3 (Phillips 2* Chapman 0*)

Nine from the over but England have a wicket through that run out. New Zealand above the rate here. Can they maintain it?

Liam Livingstone is going to return.

12:35 PM

WICKET! Conway run out 21

Conway takes on the arm of the fielder from the deep in attempting a two but it's a well-directed throw. Buttler claims the ball, knocks the bails off and he has to go.

Devon Conway of New Zealand is run out by Jos Buttler of England during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Devon Conway of New Zealand is run out by Jos Buttler of England during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

FOW 81/3

12:31 PM

OVER 8: NZ 72/2 (Conway 12* Phillips 2* )

Mills will continue. Mixing up his pace and length here. Not much to hit for Phillips and Conway but probably worth both of them feeling their way into their innings. Good over from Mills, just five singles from it.

12:27 PM

OVER 7: NZ 67/2 (Conway 8* Phillips 0* )

Conway reads the googly and sweeps for a single off the final ball. Decent over after that first six.

12:25 PM

WICKET! Guptill b Rashid c Roy 41

Adil Rashid is called upon by Eoin Morgan. He doesn't escape Guptill's attacking intent, either. Big heave into the leg side over cow corner and it makes it over the boundary rope for six. 41 off 19, so a strike rate of over 200 now.

But that's that. Next ball Guptill doesn't get hold of - one hand coming off the bat - and it goes out towards Jason Roy standing at long on. The catch is taken easily.

Martin Guptill of New Zealand bats during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021  - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Martin Guptill of New Zealand bats during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

FOW 66/2

12:21 PM

OVER 6: NZ 59/1 (Guptill 35* Conway 7*)

Tymal Mills' rapid left-armers make an appearance. Conway gets a single, bringing Guptill on strike. A simple push out on the off side, off the back foot, gets Guptill another four. Beat the fielder close in at cover point and then that was it as it raced to the boundary. Conway gets his first boundary, paddling the ball - a slower one - down to fine leg for four. A single off the sixth ball. New Zealand are racing along.

12:16 PM

OVER 5: NZ 48/1 (Guptill 30* Conway 1*)

Wood is full and Guptill is onto it, playing it back over the bowler's head for four. 20 off 11 so far for the big opener. A misfield at backward square leg almost gets New Zealand two, but doesn't.

Guptill then gets away with one here... short ball and he tries a pull but it goes over mid on, quite loopily, and manages to make the short straight boundary.

No mistake the next time, clearing his front leg out of the way, a bit shorter and four through midwicket. And then it's a wide...a misfield does cost England off the final ball, Bairstow fumbling on the boundary edge and that is a whopping 17 runs from Wood's second over...

Guptill on 30 off 15.

12:10 PM

OVER 4: NZ 31/1 (Guptill 15* Conway 1*)

Woakes' second over begins well, with four dot balls to Conway. Just one leg bye from the over, which I always think should count against them. But doesn't. So there you go.

12:06 PM

OVER 3: NZ 29/1 (Guptill 15* Conway 1*)

Devon Conway comes to the crease following Seifert's dismissal and gets off the mark first ball.

12:05 PM

WICKET! Seifert b Wood 8

A variety pack of an over from Wood in his first five balls but he finds his line, length and pace and ends up bowling Tim Seifert, smacking into his off stump, through his defences, which were a little tardy.

Tim Seifert of New Zealand is bowled by Mark Wood of England during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate -  Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Tim Seifert of New Zealand is bowled by Mark Wood of England during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

Looked quick, though no speed gun here. Probably fair to say he was done for pace.

FOW 28/1

12:00 PM

OVER 2: NZ 21/0 (Guptill 14* Seifert 6*)

Chris Woakes with the second over for England. Slightly short and wide and Seifert doesn't really time it but it finds the gap between gulley and slip and runs down to third man for four. Good intent, not great execution, good result. Three other singles off the over. Bright start for New Zealand.

11:55 AM

OVER 1: NZ 14/0 (Guptill 12* Seifert 2*)

It doesn't start very well for England. Livingstone start with a loosener which brings about a mighty heave from Martin Guptill for six. A fair old wait before the ball is returned...

It gets better, thankfully. The fourth ball is a leg spinner that pitches and bounces past the outside edge. But then ie gets worse as Guptill flays another six, this time down the ground. An over of 14 runs, book-ended by huge sixes... not a good delivery, in fairness.

11:52 AM

Time for New Zealand's right of reply

Liam Livingstone to open the bowling.

11:46 AM

The full England scorecard

Roy b Southee 0 (1)
Buttler c Jamieson b Sodhi 73 (51)
Malan lbw Sodhi 11 (15)
Morgan lbw Sodhi 10 (11)
Bairstow c Chapman b Ferguson 30 (21)
Billings not out 27 (17)
Woakes not out 3 (2)

11:43 AM

A fine innings from Buttler

Kept it together when nobody else looked remotely in form. Malan, too, had a strange stay at the crease.

Jos Buttler of England bats during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Jos Buttler of England bats during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

11:40 AM


Chris Woakes the man in at eight. Off the mark first ball with a single. Billings completely covering his stumps now to Ferguson. A well-timed pull only brings him a single, though. A danger of a run out with a quick attempted two on the final delivery but the throw only finds Billings, running to the striker's end.

That's 163 for England with Buttler getting a big chunk of that and Bairstow and Billings contributing towards the end of the innings with some clean hitting. Think they can be reasonably happy with the total but some worrying innings from Roy, Livingstone and Morgan.

11:36 AM

WICKET! Bairstow b Ferguson c Santner 30

Bairstow tries something a bit different to a slower ball bouncer but only lofts one out to backward point who takes the easiest catch you will ever see. It was tremendously slow and short and once Bairstow committed to the shot that was about the best that could happen.

FOW 159/6

11:33 AM

OVER 19: ENG 158/5 (Bairstow 30* Billings 25*)

The imposing figure of Jamieson returns. He drops a bit short, a slower ball bouncer? Billings gets inside and flicks it over the top for four down to deep fine leg. The next ball is in the slot, Billings gets down on one knee and nails it high and long just forward of square on the leg side...

A biiiig wide from Jamieson. Billings stepped onto the leg side which made it look a little worse but it was very wide. Unfortunately it doesn't get much better for the big bowler as Billings lofts him over cover for four more. 15 off four legitimate balls so far. Make that 19 off five as an attempted yorker becomes a full toss which Billings just leans into to time it through the covers again for four.

A single off the final ball and it's 20 from the over... productive, to say the least.

11:26 AM

OVER 18: ENG 138/5 (Bairstow 30* Billings 6*)

Southee returns for his third over and he begins with a wide. He then thinks Billings bottom edges a flashy pull through to the keeper but, again, the umpire is not interested. Didn't look or sound particularly "out". A bit slower from Southee (though the over has been far from quick anyway) and Billings waits... and pulls out to mid-wicket for two. Southee continues to make the batsman have to put the pace on the ball.

An attempted slower ball, I think, hits Bairstow in the midriff/hip after mistiming the pull shot.

"That's a f------ no ball," Bairstow says to the umpire. It is not given. He's angry, smacking his bat down on the crease as he awaits the next delivery... which he duly mashes over mid-wicket for six! Funny.

11:21 AM

OVER 17: ENG 128/5 (Bairstow 24* Billings 2*)

Santner returns. A lot of spin from New Zealand today. Bairstow gets a couple with a chip over wide mid off, then followed by a sweep, paddled behind square on the leg side for four. Well read by Bairstow. A shout from the bowler after a poorly executed reverse sweep hits Bairstow on the pads but it's not out. Another chipped two over extra cover, cleverly finding the gap. And again! Productive over for England and Bairstow.

11:17 AM

OVER 16: ENG 117/5 (Bairstow 14* Billings 2*)

Ish Sodhi returns to complete his final over. What will England end up on here? 150? Aside from Buttler there has not been a great deal to shout about. Sodhi drops short and Bairstow picks it up quickly and pulls it powerfully over to the mid-wicket boundary for six! Poor ball and fine shot.

The next two aren't quite so well timed with limited (non-existent) foot movement and a big swing of the arms. No runs from those.

11:14 AM

OVER 15: ENG 109/5 (Bairstow 7* Billings 1*)

That brings Sam Billings to the crease, who is off the mark first ball.

Bairstow finds the boundary for the first time as Phillips over pitches. Easily sent to the deep cover boundary by the Yorkshireman.

11:11 AM

WICKET! Livingstone b Phillips 1

NZ really getting through their bowling options and why not?

It works first ball with Glenn Phillips, who bowls Liam Livingstone around his legs as he tried to paddle sweep it. Not really sure what the point of that was given the point of this warm-up is to spend time in the middle. Strange and borderline stupid.

FOW 103/5

11:08 AM

OVER 14: ENG 103/4 (Bairstow 2* Livingstone 1*)

Sodhi 3-18 off his three overs, then. Liam Livingstone off the mark first ball.

11:07 AM

WICKET! Buttler 73 b Sodhi c Jamieson

Six! Buttler into the seventies with a mighty flay off Ish Soshi. Did not move his feet, did not get to the pitch of the ball but superbly timed nevertheless. He finds the fielder on the rope at wide mid-off but Santner can only tip it over the boundary rope, such a speed it came at. That brings up the 100 for England.

A couple of singles bring Buttler back onto strike. He latches onto another one but Buttler finds the fielder (Jamieson) at long on who takes a decent catch. Buttler has to go after a wonderful innings.

FOW 102/4

11:02 AM

OVER 13: ENG 94/3 (Buttler 65* Bairstow 1*)

Another bowling change as Todd Astle comes into the attack with his spin. Buttler gets to the pitch of his second ball and lofts it powerfully over the covers for an aerial four. Another four next ball in a similar way but this time it's all the way along the ground and a little squarer. 64 off 45 now for Buttler.

Three more singles makes it 11 from the over.

10:59 AM

OVER 12: ENG 83/3 (Buttler 56* Bairstow 0*)

Daryl Mitchell into the attack with his medium pacers and it's a floaty one outside off to Buttler first up. Buttler times it through the covers for four, putting away the bad ball and getting to his 50 at the same time. Another four for Buttler and then a miscued single makes it England's best over for a few. Nine from it.

10:55 AM

OVER 11: ENG 74/3 (Buttler 47* Bairstow 0*)

2-9 for Ish Sodhi off his two overs. Very good figures indeed. Just four runs from the last two overs.

10:54 AM

WICKET! Morgan LBW Sodhi 10

Morgan gets down on one knee to sweep Sodhi out to deep square leg for a single. Buttler gets one of his own with a push and run on the off side.

Sodhi gets one to hit Morgan - attempting a reverse sweep - on the pads (I think...), there's an appeal from somewhere (not much from the bowler) and the umpire gives Morgan out in a flash! Was there some bat on that? Morgan looks perplexed.

"You've given me out, boss?" he enquires and then walks off. Well, he didn't make it to 14... just 10 off 11.

FOW 74/3

10:48 AM

OVER 10: ENG 72/2 (Buttler 45* Morgan 9*)

Always think there is something very ungraceful about a left-arm spinner angling the ball into the pads of a right-hander. Santner does exactly that and Buttler pushes it out to claim two. The next is tossed up sloooowly with a lot of air outside off. Buttler goes for the big shot but misses. That, too, was ugly.

Four dots in a row from Santner, can he make it five? Yes he can. Very good finish from Santner, there. He still has an over left.

England reach 72 at the half-way stage and that is drinks.

10:44 AM

OVER 9: ENG 69/2 (Buttler 44* Morgan 9*)

Kyle Jamieson returns and Jos Buttler continues to accumulate during these overs as he approaches his 50. England going along at a tick under 7.3 here.

Morgan charges down the wicket and lofts the ball on the leg side towards mid-wicket for a single. In that run of nine innings from Morgan his highest score was just 13*. Can he beat that today?

Final ball and Morgan tickles one down to fine leg for four to get him 64.29 per cent of the way to beating it. Motoring...

10:40 AM

OVER 8: ENG 60/2 (Buttler 42* Morgan 3*)

A rank delivery from Santner, well down the leg side brings England two wides after two singles. Morgan will just want some time at the crease here. His last nine innings in T20 cricket have yielded a total of 41 runs at an average of 6.83...

10:35 AM

OVER 7: ENG 50/2 (Buttler 41* Morgan 1*)

England captain Eoin Morgan in and he's off the mark first ball. Buttler ends the over with a boundary (a well-timed stroke through backward point) to ensure England seven runs. It might be a good thing that Malan is gone if England want to win the game.

10:33 AM

WICKET! Malan 11 LBW Sodhi

Malan keeps trying the big shot but failing. A big attempted heave onto the leg side, down on one knee but doesn't really get anywhere near it...

It's then a reverse sweep that he misses, hits him on the pads, appeal and the finger goes up straight away...

Sodhi gets a wicket with his first over. That was a very poor innings from Malan. Very poor. All at sea.

FOW 48/2

10:29 AM

OVER 6: ENG 47/1 (Malan 11* Buttler 36*)

Malan not timing it as well as Buttler. Lockie Ferguson returns, and Malan mistimes another pull shot but gets one for it. Ferguson managing to stem the tide of runs a little here. Just a single off the first five balls. Buttler then nudges off his pads for a single to retain the strike.

10:24 AM

OVER 5: ENG 45/1 (Malan 10* Buttler 35*)

Time for some spin. Specifically the slow left-arm of Mitchell Santner.

Buttler continues his attack with another one-bounce four down the ground on the off side to move into the 30s. Santner then goes a bit legg-ish, Buttler follow shim a superbly cuts through point for another four... he looks in great nick.

Not much for Malan to do so far. No real need with Buttler batting like he is.

10:20 AM

OVER 4: ENG 36/1 (Malan 9* Buttler 27*)

Tim Southee returns after a change of ends. Two singles off the first two. Buttler continues his mini-onslaught, stepping back and hoicking Southee over his own head for four. Next ball he goes back again, opens his stance and thwacks it through the off side for a one-bounce four down the ground. Superb timing as he moves to 23 off 13.

A third boundary in a row to finish the over but this one is ugly... a mistimed pull leads to an inside edge down to fine leg. 27 off 14 for him now...

10:16 AM

OVER 3: ENG 22/1 (Malan 8* Buttler 14*)

A wide one from Ferguson is latched onto by Buttler for his first boundary four through the covers. He then follows it up with a scoop shot for six from behind the keeper! Nice. 13 off 8 from Buttler now. He tries similar again but this time he only gets it down to deep backward square leg. Not quite the same shot, but got into a similar position.

Malan plays and misses, does not move his feet an inch, off the final ball of the over. 12 from it.

10:12 AM

Tim Wigmore is our man on the ground in the heat

Lockie Ferguson will replace Tim Southee for the third over.

10:10 AM

OVER 2: ENG 10/1 (Malan 6* Buttler 3*)

Kyle Jamieson opens from the other end. Malan tries to pull one first up but there's not much bounce and he misses. Gets it away second ball for a single, though. Buttler goes back and runs it down to third man for a single.

Not much to hit from Jamieson in his first over. Three from it only.

10:05 AM

OVER 1: ENG 7/1 (Malan 5* Buttler 2*)

So, after that Roy setback, England get off the mark with four on the off side from Malan. It was a tremendously wide ball from Southee and Malan stepped forward and stroked it through point. Well timed. After a Malan single, Buttler gets a couple off his first ball with a drive down the ground.

10:02 AM

WICKET! Jason Roy b Southee 0

Well, well, well! It's a wicket first ball for Southee and Roy is gone.

Southee bowls one that looks fairly innocuous, but Roy steps to the off side slightly, tries to play it to leg and is bowled around his legs. Strange indeed.

Jason Roy of England throws his bat in the air after being dismissed by Tim Southee of New Zealand during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Jason Roy of England throws his bat in the air after being dismissed by Tim Southee of New Zealand during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images


10:00 AM

Here we go

Tim Southee to get the game going with Jason Roy facing the first ball.

09:56 AM

Looks like New Zealand are playing XIII, so here's their team

Martin Guptill
Tim Seifert
Devon Conway
Glenn Phillips
Mark Chapman
Daryl Mitchell
Mitchell Santner
Tim Southee
Kyle Jamieson
Ish Sodhi
Todd Astle
Lockie Ferguson
Kane Williamson

It will only be 11 men bowling and 11 men batting for each side, but as is the way these days, it gives the captains a bit more game time for their players.

09:54 AM

England's XII

Jos Buttler
Jason Roy
Dawid Malan
Eoin Morgan
Jonny Bairstow
Liam Livingstone
Sam Billings
Chris Woakes
Chris Jordan
Tymal Mills
Adil Rashid
Mark Wood

Yes, it's a 12.

09:46 AM

New Zealand have won the toss

They will bowl first, putting England in to bat.

09:41 AM

England's face New Zealand in their final T20 World Cup warm-up game

England go into their final Twenty20 World Cup warm-up game against New Zealand with a few question marks. The most notable is over the form of captain Eoin Morgan, who said that he would be prepared to drop himself if it helped England win the tournament.

Another question mark has been answered, however, as all-rounder Liam Livingstone has avoided significant injury after damaging his finger against India in their first warm-up against India.

Reuters report:

England all-rounder Liam Livingstone has shaken off a finger injury that he sustained in a warm-up match against India ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup, captain Eoin Morgan said on Tuesday.

Livingstone left the field with the little finger on his left hand swollen after he dropped a catch at deep midwicket during England's seven-wicket defeat by India on Monday.

"Liam is fine and fully fit," Morgan told reporters. "No other problems so far, touch wood."

Livingstone was named in coach Chris Silverwood's squad for the World Cup as a replacement for Ben Stokes, who had taken an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental health while also recovering from a second operation on a broken finger.

England face New Zealand in their final warm-up match on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi before starting their World Cup campaign against defending champions West Indies in Dubai on Saturday.

Morgan said he was impressed with all-rounder Moeen Ali who scored an unbeaten 43 off 20 balls against India.

"Moeen's been in fine form. He's been in great form in the Indian Premier League and yesterday he showed great confidence at the wicket," Morgan said.

"You would have to say in the form he's in, he's a good player we could utilize at any stage of the tournament."

The game starts at 11am BST and we'll be covering all of it, over by over.

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