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Flintoff steers England to victory
January 16, 2007 12:56 IST
Last Updated: January 16, 2007 13:29 IST
Andrew Flintoff scored a brilliant half-century to steer England to a thrilling three-wicket victory over New Zealand in the third tri-series one-day international in Hobart on Tuesday.
Flintoff made an unbeaten 72 off 75 balls to help England reach their victory target of 206 with just one ball to spare to register their first win on their disastrous tour of Australia. England looked to have the game well in control after James Anderson captured four wickets to restrict the Kiwis to 205-9 until things started to go wrong.
Captain Michael Vaughan strained a hamstring and England's batting wobbled before Flintoff came to the rescue, slamming seven boundaries to win the man of the match award. Flintoff had a lucky escape in the 47th over when he was caught by Taylor at mid-off from a full-toss from Mark Gillespie but the umpire ruled it was a no-ball because the delivery was above his waist.
England seemed to be back in control needing 12 off the final two overs, but that became four off the last over when New Zealand dismissed Jamie Dalrymple and kept Flintoff and Jon Lewis to two singles. But Lewis managed a single off the first ball of Craig McMillan's last over to put Flintoff back on strike and he chalked up the final three runs required for victory.
New Zealand's batsmen failed to make the most of a bright start on a perfect day for batting at the Bellerive Oval.
Nathan Astle top scored with 45 off 63 balls but no one else made it to 30, even though everyone except Taylor made double figures.
Flintoff and Paul Collingwood got two wickets each while Monty Panesar finished with one, but it was Anderson who did most of the damage, claiming three wickets with the new ball and another off the last ball of the innings.
New Zealand signalled their intentions early when Brendon McCullum smacked the second ball of the match from Lewis high over extra cover for a six but it was not long before England were on top.
Anderson dismissed McCullum when he spooned a catch to Vaughan at mid-off then bowled Stephen Fleming for 12 when the New Zealand skipper dragged a wide delivery back on to his stumps.
Anderson struck again when Taylor, who made a sparkling 84 against Australia, mistimed a pull to Vaughan at cover before Collingwood bowled Astle when he was starting to look dangerous.
Peter Fulton (27), James Franklin (20) and Shane Bond (22 not out) pushed the total past 200 before Anderson captured his fourth wicket when he bowled Gillespie with a full-toss on the last ball of the innings.
England's next match is against Australia in Brisbane on Friday while New Zealand's next game is against the host nation in Sydney on Sunday.