New Zealand v England: Talking points as McCullum fires hosts to win
New Zealand v England: Matt Cansick looks at the talking points from the opening one-day international in Hamilton on Sunday
Black Caps respond
New Zealand got over the disappointment of losing the Twenty20 series at the first opportunity as they won the first one-day international in Hamilton with seven balls to spare. England were asked to bat first and appeared to be headed for a hefty total after the returning pair of Ian Bell (64) and Jonathan Trott (68), as well as the burgeoning talent of Joe Root (56), made valuable contributions, but another collapse saw the innings falter to a more modest 258 all out. England kept New Zealand in check for most of the hosts’ reply, but Kane Williamson kept the score ticking over with 74 before being run out by Bell as the other batsmen failed to capitalise on starts. It was left to Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum, so often their saviour, to see his side home as he contributed an unbeaten 69 to secure a three wicket victory and a 1-0 series lead.
Anderson into the record books
There was a highlight on a personal level for one of England’s players during this game, as Jimmy Anderson overtook Sir Ian Botham as their most prolific bowler. He now has 529 wickets across the three forms of international cricket, consisting of 288 in Tests, 223 in ODIs and 18 in Twenty20s. For several years he has been the focal point of England’s bowling attack, so much so that he is the number one priority when it comes to opportunities to rest players. The consistency with which he has played over the last few years has been key to England’s success, and this will again be the case in the forthcoming Ashes series. The next milestone on the horizon will be a record Botham still holds, that of most Test wickets taken by an Englishman. One would expect the mark of 383 to come under serious threat before Anderson bows out.
Win or bust for England
England now face a must-win game in Napier on Wednesday, as a loss in the day-nighter would see the third and final match reduced to a dead rubber as was the case in the recent tour of India. After the T20 matches that swung from one extreme to another for both sides, the longer format appears to promise closer battles if this first game is anything to go by. England captain Alastair Cook cited a lack of match sharpness as a major reason behind his side’s defeat, as not all members of the side were involved in the T20 series. Whether one match will be enough to rediscover this edge remains to be seen, but this needs to be the case if England are to avoid heading into the final part of the tour, the Test series, on the back of a second consecutive one day series defeat. Three players passing fifty was encouraging for the tourists, but they cannot afford another collapse if they are to put serious pressure on their opponents.