New Zealand seal last-ball thriller against

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008, 0:25 [IST]
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London: New Zealand won a dramatic last-ball victory to beat England by one wicket in the fourth one-day international at The Oval here Wednesday to take an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

With two needed off the final ball, last man Mark Gillespie hit Luke Wright to extra-cover.

But Graeme Swann's throw to the bowler's end wasn't backed up by several England fielders and this allowed New Zealand the winning second on the over-throw as they reached their target of 246.

Kyle Mills was 25 not out off just 27 balls.


The match threatened to be overshadowed by controversy when New Zealand, closing in on victory, saw Grant Elliott run out after what appeared an accidental shoulder charge by England quick bowler Ryan Sidebottom, who'd veered off a straight course in an attempt to regather the ball.

With Elliott flat on the ground, Ian Bell threw to Kevin Pietersen at the bowler's end and Elliott was run out with New Zealand 220 for eight.

Although England captain Paul Collingwood could have withdrawn the appeal and there is also provision within the laws for the umpires to call dead ball in the event of a serious injury, Elliott was ruled run out.

It was the second flashpoint of this series following last week's washout at Edgbaston, which saw the match finish one over short of a result being declared with New Zealand in sight of victory.

Elliott's exit was followed by the run out of Tim Southee was run out and they needed 12 runs off the last 12 balls.

But Mills hoisted Collingwood for six to leave New Zealand needing six off nine balls and that became three off the last over, bowled by Wright.

Mills took a single off the first ball. Gillespie couldn't do anything with the next four before making decisive contact with the last.

It had looked as if veteran all-rounder Scott Styris, dropped three times on his way to 69, was going to see New Zealand home.

But when he the man-of-the-match was run out, going for a needless second, the game was back in the balance.

That England, who suffered a top order collapse, made as many as 245 owed much to Owais Shah's 63. Together with Ravi Bopara (58) he put on 75 for the fifth wicket.

Teenage pace bowler Southee was the pick of New Zealand's attack with three for 47 in 10 overs.

Both innings followed a similar pattern with England declining to 101 for four and New Zealand slumping to 106 for four.

But the experienced duo of Styris and fellow all-rounder Jacob Oram (38), playing his first match of the series following a hamstring injury, swung the match back the Black Caps' way with a stand of 67.

New Zealand should have been 24 for three when Styris, on nought, was dropped by second slip Shah, at second slip off fast bowler James Anderson.

The all-rounder was missed again, in quick succession, on 27 and 28.

Collingwood dropped a difficult diving catch at backward point before paceman Stuart Broad floored a caught and bowled chance.

Styris's cover driven boundary off Anderson, saw him to a 60-ball fifty.But his luck ran out after he failed to beat Swann's throw to Collingwood.

Shah, who made a rapid 49 in England's 114-run win in the first match of this series, again showed his class with a 63 ball fifty. But England, as they had done during last weekend's defeat at Bristol, lost after losing Kevin Pietersen cheaply.

This time he fell for nought, toe-ending a pull off Gillespie to Southee at mid-on.

The series concludes at Lord's on Saturday.


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