After one of the most closely fought test series between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw, both teams would have felt that they could have got more from the game. Now they will have another chance to go at each other in the limited over format. New Zealand play 5 ODI’s against England in the series and the first one was played at Edgbaston.
On a flat batting wicket, England won the toss and chose to bat. NZ gave a debut to the left arm spinner Santer. England looked a settled side captained by Morgan. However, it didn’t start well for England as they lost Jason Roy on the first ball of the innings. Boult got his first but England were at 8/1 in first over.
Hales and Root were looking confident after the early wicket and played aggressively.
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They got the team over the 50 run mark but Hales tried to manufacture a shot and skied a delivery form Boult and lost his wicket. He went for a run a ball 20 and England were 50/2.
English skipper walked in and knit a very sensible partnership with Root, who was middling every ball and reached his half century in less than run a ball. After a 121 run partnership, Morgan lost his wicket to McCleneghan, as he fell just after reaching his half century. England were 171/3 at the end of 23 over’s going at a very good run rate.
Root reached his century in style but didn’t last long as Boult picked his third. Root nicked one to the keeper on 104. Stokes and Buttler joined in the middle as England still continued to pile on runs at a quick rate. Boult picked a wicket again as Stokes dragged one on. England were now 195/5 in the 29th over. Billings came and went in the next over for 3 as Santer picked his first International wicket.
England were 202/6 when the debutant Rashid joined Buttler in the middle. Both of them took the NZ bowling apart. Buttler scored his century and Rashid reached his 50. By the time Buttler went for 129 of 77 balls, England ran away to 379/7. Elliot picked Rashid and Jordan in the last over before going for two sixes. This took England’s past the 400 mark and NZ were set a target of 409 for victory.
Needing so many, NZ came out aggressively and McCullum wanted to steer from the front. He started blasting the ball straight away but Finn picked him up in the first over as NZ were 11/1. Guptill and Williamson took NZ past 50 put Guptill lost his wicket after a wild swing at Finn. He went for 22 and NZ were 52/2 in the 7th over.
Williamson and Taylor tried to calm things down but Rashid picked his first international wicket and that of Williamson. He skied one and went for 45 as NZ now needed 313 runs of just 36 overs at 8.69 RPO.
Elliot joined Taylor and the duo put on a small partnership before Elliot was run out for 24. Santer on debut walked in but didn’t last long as he was picked by Rashid for 15. Ronchi came in and went on the first ball as Rashid picked his 3rd and reduced NZ to 185/6. Taylor was gone in the next over for 57 as Finn got his third of the night.
Nz slowly collapsed as Rashid picked Henry and just an over later, Finn got Nathan McCullum for 5. Jordan picked McClenaghan for 2 as New Zealand were bowled out for 198. England won by a whopping 210 runs their best ODI victory in terms of runs.
NZ were completely outplayed and the collapse from 160/3 to 198 all out showed that they need a lot of work on their batting but the first innings actually played them out of the game. Giving away more than 400 runs in the 1st innings is not easy to come back with and NZ will now have to think hard and long before they face England again in the second ODI.
Jos Buttler was named’ Man of the Match’ for his explosive century. He took a modest England total past the 400 mark which was done for the first time in English soil. NZ may have shown some character in the final test but this performance shows why they still have a long way to go before establishing themselves as one of the top teams in the world.
As for England they would have been happy with both the innings. They batter extremely well with contributions from everyone. Their bowlers bowled to plans and Rashid and Finn just took the match away from NZ. It will be good to see how NZ will bounce back in the second ODI but for now England will be happy with the 1-0 lead in the 5 match ODI series.