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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 06:57 GMT
England wait on Sidebottom injury
Warm-up match, Dunedin: England 369-9 declared, drew with NZ Invitational XI 146 & 102-3

Ryan Sidebottom.
Sidebottom sat out the two-day warm-up against an Invitational XI

Ryan Sidebottom has been ruled out of England's final warm-up match ahead of the Test series against New Zealand.

The Nottinghamshire seamer suffered a hamstring strain in the final one-day international on Saturday.

He did not bowl during the two-day warm-up match against an Invitational XI in Dunedin which ended in a draw.

"Ryan has got a slight problem so there has to be some concern, and he'll miss the three-day game as a precaution," said England skipper Michael Vaughan.

"Hopefully over the next few days he'll heal fast and he'll be able to start bowling towards the end of the three-day game or when we arrive in Hamilton."


Sidebottom has excelled since becoming an established member of England's Test and one-day sides at the start of last summer.

He was expected to take the new ball with Matthew Hoggard against the Black Caps at Seddon Park on Tuesday, 4 March.

But now Vaughan must prepare an alternative plan in case the 29-year-old, who has played in England's last nine Tests, is ruled out.

His absence from the three-day match against an NZ Selection XI starting on Wednesday (2100 GMT) is expected to give Lancashire's James Anderson a chance to impress ahead of Chris Tremlett.

The Hampshire paceman was added to the squad as cover but is unlikely to feature in this week's final warm-up.

Steve Harmison
Harmison's three wickets cost England 73 runs

Vaughan also has Steve Harmison at his disposal, but the Durham star turned in a mixed display against a strong Invitational XI which featured Test players Matthew Bell, Peter Fulton, Stephen Fleming and Mathew Sinclair.

He struggled at times with his direction but claimed three wickets on day two as they were dismissed for 146 and then asked to follow on, reaching 102 for three by the close.

Vaughan said: "It's always nice to knock a few of the batsmen you're going to play against maybe next week over cheaply."

Anderson and Hoggard captured three wickets each in the first innings, while spinner Monty Panesar took two in the second.

Vaughan added: "Steve gets better the longer he bowls - he was one of the reasons we went out and bowled again.

"The first of the warm-up games is always just to get into it. We've learnt a bit about the conditions and the ball is swinging, which is good for us - hopefully that will continue.

"Before the game started we came up with a plan that we were going to bat a day and they were going to bat a day, but we bowled them out.

"I thought there was an opportunity to get some more wickets and also to get some more overs in our legs as fielders and a bowling unit."

England in New Zealand 2008
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket


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