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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 11:23 GMT
England beat Kiwis to reach final
Commonwealth Bank Series, Brisbane: England 270-7 (50 ovs) bt New Zealand 256-8 by 14 runs

By Jamie Lillywhite

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood posted his first one-day hundred since June 2005
Paul Collingwood hit 106 and his Durham team-mate Liam Plunkett took three wickets as England beat New Zealand by 14 runs to reach the CB Series finals.

Collingwood, who had not passed 50 since 206 in the Adelaide Test, shared 103 from 118 balls with Andrew Strauss (55) in a total of 270-7 in Brisbane.

Plunkett bowled five wides in a first over costing 11, but recovered to take 3-60, while Collingwood took 2-46.

Stephen Fleming hit his first ODI ton since 2004 in New Zealand's 256-8.

With Plunkett and Sajid Mahmood again unable to control the new white ball, 26 came from the first three overs as England made a horrific start to the defence of their total.

Lou Vincent, who had been fortunate with edges through a gap in England's slip cordon, played a reverse sweep to the boundary when Monty Panesar was introduced into the attack in the 12th over.

The spinner, who dived superbly to cut off a boundary at fine-leg, then induced a top-edge in his second over, after which Michael Vaughan took the next powerplay.

Vaughan elected to bring Plunkett back and took the final powerplay, but Fleming, rapped on the thumb by a combative Andrew Flintoff, brought up the 100.

Fleming and Ross Taylor had reduced the requirement to 102 from 96 balls when they found themselves at the same end and bowler Flintoff was able to run almost the length of the wicket carrying the ball to complete the run-out.

Stephen Fleming
Fleming completed his first one-day century against England

Flintoff was by far the pick of the bowlers, pegging the Kiwis back whenever he came into the attack and 96 were needed from 13 overs.

Jacob Oram sliced Plunkett between the keeper and a solitary wide slip, but became England's fifth wicket next ball when a finer edge was gleefully snaffled by Paul Nixon, leaving 63 to score from 44 balls.

After Brendon McCullum was bowled off his pads by Plunkett, Daniel Vettori swiped two boundaries to lower the rate to 49 from 29.

But Collingwood's clever variations were rewarded when the left-hander hoiked to mid-wicket and Flintoff then ousted Fleming with 39 needed when Nixon took off to his left like a circus acrobat.

James Franklin sliced a boundary to leave 20 wanted from Mahmood's final over and to England's delight there were to be no further twists.

England's selection for the Brisbane showdown raised a few eyebrows, as Mal Loye and Ravi Bopara, two players who had injected some life into the side and helped gain the vital victory over Australia, were unceremoniously shelved.

Conditions certainly backed Vaughan's decision to bat, with a smooth pacy surface and a rapid outfield.

Shane Bond's spell began ignominiously with an off-side wide that barely pitched on the cut strip.

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan is beaten all ends up by a rapid inswinging yorker from Bond

The next one, however, was virtually unplayable and rattled the beleagured England captain's middle stump.

The average score in the first innings over the last 10 matches at The Gabba was 253 but with the first 10 overs producing only five boundaries, Fleming had no hesitation taking the second powerplay.

Ed Joyce advanced down the pitch to hit a four, but trying to continue the attack in similar manner, he backed away against Franklin and got a thin edge.

That brought in Collingwood, with scores of 10 or less in four of his six matches in the series, and no one-day fifty in his last 10 innings.

Having pulled a sweetly timed six, Strauss was given a reprieve by umpire Daryl Harper on 31 when he missed a standard Franklin delivery that appeared to have trapped him lbw.

England moved to 95-3 at the completion of 20 overs but had another double stroke of fortune when Collingwood offered a fairly routine return chance to Oram, who could only get one hand to the ball and failed to cling on.

His deflection took the ball into the stumps at the non-striker's end but Strauss had managed to scramble his way back.

Collingwood was soon employing his trademark shovel into the on-side, and a lofted stroke just eluded the deep fielder to record both the 100 and the fifty stand off 49 balls in the 22nd over.

The next boundary did not arrive for 13 overs, and in that time Strauss swished and missed at a straight one from Scott Styris.

606: DEBATE
AB

Having reached a hesitant nine, Flintoff mis-timed a launch towards mid-wicket and Ross Taylor appeared to be in perfect position to take the catch, only for the ball to dip beneath his hands.

But England's big-hitting talisman failed to take advantage and in the next over recklessly lofted Bond straight to long-on where Franklin made no mistake.

Collingwood hit two fours as 14 came from the Styris over, and raised his arms aloft in jubilation when he reached three figures with a rapidly run two.

Jamie Dalrymple added some quick useful runs, but inadvertantly distracted his partner by dropping his bat as Bond ran in and bowled Collingwood with another yorker in the 48th over.

Bond was denied a fifth wicket when Peter Fulton spilled a chance at mid-wicket, and the paceman compounded his misfortune by conceding an overthrow as England scrambled an all-run four in a final over costing 16, which was to prove significant.



SEE ALSO
England revival delights Vaughan
06 Feb 07 |  England
England v NZ photos
06 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07
10 Jan 07 |  England


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