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England join Australia in tri-series finals
February 06, 2007 17:39 IST
England beat New Zealand by 14 runs at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday to join Australia in the tri-series one-day international finals.
Paul Collingwood smashed 106 and Andrew Strauss 55 as England recovered from a slow start to amass a formidable total of 270 for seven from their 50 overs.
New Zealand made a flying start to their reply with captain Stephen Fleming making 106 off 149 balls but lost their way in the latter stages to finish with 256-8.
England's hopes of making the finals seemed doomed a week ago when they lost their fourth straight match in a row but a surprise win against Australia on Friday gave them a chance of sneaking past the Kiwis.
England were struggling at 52-3 in the 14th over after returning skipper Michael Vaughan was bowled by Shane Bond for a duck with a perfect inswinging yorker and Ian Bell (12) and Ed Joyce (26) both went cheaply.
But Strauss and Collingwood steadied the innings with a careful display, taking the total past 100 in the 22nd over before increasing the run-rate.
Strauss struck three fours and a six to complete his first half-century of the series while Collingwood survived a dropped catch from Jacob Oram on 18 to record his third one-day international hundred.
The pair added 103 for the third wicket before Strauss was bowled by Scott Styris. Collingwood was then bowled by Bond after becoming distracted when his team mate Jamie Dalrymple dropped his bat at the non-striker's end.
Andrew Flintoff made a quick 17 off 15 balls before holing out to James Franklin in the deep to give Bond his fourth wicket.
Wicketkeeper Paul Nixon was bowled by Mark Gillespie for a second ball duck in the penultimate over before Dalrymple (29 not out) and Liam Plunkett (15 not out) went on a late flurry to lift the total to 270.
New Zealand started well when Plunkett bowled five wides in the opening over, including one that raced away to the boundary rope, as Fleming and Lou Vincent put on 81 for the first wicket.
But the England bowlers succeeded in drying up the runs, forcing the Kiwis to take more risks to try and increase the rate as the wickets started to tumble.