Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Ali, Rashid spin England to win over New Zealand

AFP, WELLINGTON

Australia’s Cameron Bancroft ducks under a short ball from South Africa yesterday in day three of their first Test at Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa.

Photo: Reuters

A devastating spell by spin twins Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, and a freakish run out yesterday saw England pull off a dramatic four-run victory in the third one-day international (ODI) against New Zealand in Wellington.

The game boiled down to New Zealand skipper and centurymaker Kane Williamson needing a six off the final ball as they chased a 235 target.

However, he was unable to deliver, leaving New Zealand on 230 for eight as England went 2-1 up in the five-match series.

New Zealand appeared to have the game in their hands at 80 for one in the 18th over, before Ali and Rashid turned the match with five wickets for 23 runs in a 41-ball burst.

Ali finished with three for 36 and Rashid took two for 34.

They were assisted by a stunning catch from Ben Stokes diving to his left to remove Colin Munro (49) to ignite the New Zealand slump from a comfortable 80 for one to 103 for six.

Williamson, who had struggled for runs in recent innings and missed the second ODI, which England won, because of a hamstring strain, returned to the arena with an imperious performance for his 11th ODI century.

He faced 143 deliveries and was in the middle for most of the New Zealand innings after the early dismissal of Martin Guptill for three.

Williamson shared a 68-run stand with Munro, and once Ali and Rashid had destroyed the rest of the recognised New Zealand batting he engineered a revival with Mitchell Santner.

Santner was given the benefit of the doubt on two when Jason Roy took a catch at ground level and there was no clear evidence the ball had not touched the grass.

From there he was more circumspect to reach 41 before being run out when a Chris Woakes attempt to stop a Williamson drive deflected off the bowler’s fingertips and on to the stumps, with Santner caught out of his crease.

Woakes, defending 15 runs in the final over, conceded two twos and a six to Williamson and then fired in two dot balls to prevent a New Zealand victory.

England, having been sent into bat first, struggled to 234 in an innings built around a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket by Eoin Morgan and Stokes.

Although the wicket offered variable bounce it held no serious demons and the top nine England batsmen all reached double figures.

Their problem was no one could settle in long-term and New Zealand part-time medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme was allowed to bowl 10 overs in which he took one for 24.

Ish Sodhi was more expensive with his leg breaks, but still claimed three wickets for 53, while there were three late run outs as England pushed for runs at the end of their innings.

Morgan top scored for the tourists with 48 off 71 while Stokes, the England hero when they won the second ODI three days ago, contributed 39 off 73.

The fourth match in the series is in Dunedin, New Zealand, on Wednesday.

S AFRICA V AUSTRALIA

Reuters, DURBAN, South Africa

Opener Cameron Bancroft yesterday struck a fluent half-century as Australia tightened their grip on the first Test against South Africa, helping his side to 112 for three at lunch on the third day at Kingsmead in South Africa.

The tourists have extended their second innings lead to a commanding 301 and in-form captain Steve Smith (16) will resume after the interval with Shaun Marsh (4).

The lead already looks a commanding one on a wicket likely to deteriorate in the final two days, providing Australia’s vaunted seam attack with prodigious reverse swing and spinner Nathan Lyon plenty of rough to trouble the batsmen.

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