England crash to heavy Ageas Bowl loss

Martin Guptill celebrates. Picture: Robin Jones
Martin Guptill celebrates. Picture: Robin Jones
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Considering England boasted an impressive record at the Ageas Bowl from their previous nine visits in one-day internationals, this was a brutal hammering.

New Zealand – who are not exactly considered as world powerhouses in the limited-overs game – were clinical and disciplined.

They were vastly superior in all facets of the game as they won by 86 runs.

Ranked eighth to England’s third in the world rankings, the Kiwis made mincemeat of the English bowlers – and then worked their way through the batting order with minimal fuss.

Martin Guptill’s fabulous 189 not out was worthy of winning any game of cricket as New Zealand recorded the highest one-day international total on the ground by some considerable margin.

The previous best of 290 from India against Kenya in 2004 was put in the shade by New Zealand’s 359 for four.

Guptill shone, yet so did Ross Taylor (60), Kane Williamson (55) and Brendan McCullum (40 not out).

But much as the Kiwis turned in a fine display of batting, England’s bowling performance was woeful.

Jade Dernbach’s nought for 87 from 10 overs was the worst of a bad bunch as he continues to struggle to justify his selection.

He may have lots of variation with his deliveries but none of them actually seem to take wickets or stop runs from being scored.

His figures were the fourth worst in England one-day international history – he’s not the answer if England are looking to improve as a one-day unit.

Dernbach will get criticism but he wasn’t alone.

Tim Bresnan (nought for 73), Chris Woakes (nought for 49 from only seven overs) also struggled, and even the normally-reliable Graeme Swann (one for 61) and Jimmy Anderson (two for 65) all came in for some serious stick.

With that sort of total on the board, even the most optimistic of England fans must have known the size of the task in hand.

Some still fancied England to chase it down.

But scoreboard pressure counts for plenty and it proved too much, despite a valiant unbeaten century from Jonathan Trott (109 not out).

Skipper Alastair Cook (34) and Ian Bell (25) – who suffered a rare failure at a ground he loves – got England off to a positive start with a rapid 50 partnership for the first wicket.

But once the Kiwis had made the breakthrough, the wickets fell at regular intervals.

Trott played a fine knock, though there wasn’t too much else from the England batsmen as they were eventually dismissed for 273 to lose the game and the three-match series with one fixture still to go.

Anderson’s entertaining 28 was not enough to paper over the cracks of a disappointing display that would suggest England are rank outsiders for the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy.

They may be a formidable Test side but their one-day cricket leaves a lot to be desired.

Without the injured Kevin Pietersen or the overlooked Matt Prior, they simply don’t have the fire-power in the batting line-up.