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Kiwis complete series win over England
February 23, 2008 16:03 IST
The Kiwis were awarded victory by 34 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method when the match ended early because of heavy rain.
England had made 242 for seven from their 50 overs and New Zealand were cruising along at 213 for six after 37 overs when play was abandoned. New Zealand were adjudged comfortable winners because they were well ahead of England's adjusted rate of 179.
Despite the manner of their win in the final match, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori [Images] said he thought his team were deserving winners of the series.
"Three-one with a tie thrown in that we really should have won .... all in all I couldn't ask for too much more," Vettori told a news conference.
"We played some great cricket through the series, there's some proud guys in the dressing room."
England skipper Paul Collingwood [Images] said the Kiwis thoroughly deserved their win.
"They came out and performed the way they can and again took the game away from us," Collingwood said.
"We're good at fighting back but we need to get our nose in front more often."
New Zealand wicketkeeper batsmen Brendon McCullum was named player of the match after smashing 77 off 43 balls.
McCullum set the Kiwis on course for victory, racing to his half-century off 27 deliveries and belting five fours and six sixes before eventually being bowled by Collingwood.
Ross Taylor finished with an unbeaten 41 while Jesse Ryder (24), Jamie How (24) and Scott Styris (25) all kept the scoreboard ticking along.
Ryan Sidebottom captured three late wickets, including two in successive balls, to give England some hope of pulling off an unlikely win before the rain intervened.
New Zealand seamer Kyle Mills dismissed Phil Mustard (two), Ian Bell [Images] (24), Owais Shah (29) and England's topscorer Luke Wright (47) to finish with figures of 4-36 and restrict England to a modest total.
The tourists, who needed to win the match to square the series after salvaging a dramatic tie in the fourth match in Napier, looked like they may have to settle for a smaller score before some late lusty hitting from the tailenders.
Dimitri Mascarenhas and Stuart Broad smashed 22 runs off the last over delivered by part-timer Ryder, with Mascarenhas making an unbeaten 29 off 12 balls and Broad 11 not out off eight.
Opener Alastair Cook [Images] got the innings off to a solid start with a watchful 42 while Kevin Pietersen [Images] made 39 but none of the English batsmen were able to post a big score as New Zealand's bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals.
The teams are due to meet in three Tests next month.