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Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 19:35 UK

England v NZ - 4th ODI as it happened

New Zealand 246-9 (50 overs) bt England 245 (49.4 overs) by one wicket

New Zealand won a remakable one-day international when England somehow allowed last man Mark Gillespie to hit two from the final ball of the match.

He scampered a single and came back for the overthrow when Graeme Swann's shy at the stumps was not backed up.

Earlier, Grant Elliott, guiding the tourists home, was controversially run out as he was injured in a collision with England's Ryan Sidebottom.

The wicket could have been crucial, but England's modest 245 was not enough.


By Ben Dirs

e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)


"I am so furious, this is my second email. As a young boy I watched the 1954 Ashes series. I was brought up with lovely parents who instilled a sense of fair play. Cricket used to embody the English sense of fair play. Oh dear, where are we going as a society?"John Bunting in the TMS inbox

1910: Tremendous match that, and what a fantastic final over. Magnificent bowling from Wright, a moment of madness from Swann at the death handing victory to the tourists, who lead the series 2-1 going into the final match at Lord's on Saturday. Noticable that Collingwood was snubbed by the Kiwi players up on the balcony - this was the day it all got a bit tasty... thanks for the chatting, see you at Wimbledon on Friday...

50th over - 246-9 Wright digs one in short and Mills pops out a single to mid-wicket. Just what England wanted, Gillespie on strike. All the fielders up, four in the off-side circle, three in the leg. Gillespie reaches for one outside off and fails to make contact. Two needed from four. Right in the block-hole from Wright and Gillespie plays a rock-solid forward defensive - no run, two needed from three. Gillespie reaches and misses again and the pressure builds - two needed from two, Mills will have to just leg it here and hope for the best... Gillespie hits straight back at Wright, the ball hits Mills on the back of the leg and Wright is able to field - no run, two needed from the final ball. Remarkable drama from the final ball of the game! Gillespie squeezes one out to point, the Kiwis run, Swann throws to the bowler's end and the three men around the stumps watch as the ball misses and dribbles away... AND THE KIWIS RUN THE SECOND TO CLINCH THE WIN!!! Remarkable stuff, what a game, and the Kiwis are going ruddy mental on the balcony.

49th over - 243-9 Colly drops one in short and Mills misses with a huge heave-ho. Slower ball from Collingwood and Mills, hoicking across the line, is nearly castled. BUT THAT'S MASSIVE FROM MILLS! A front foot pull that goes about 30 rows into the stand at wide long-on. 106 metres that's been measured at, that was brutal. The ball appears to have gone missing and the umpires have called for a new one. Slower ball from Colly and Mills dabs him to mid-on for one. Gillespie edges to third man from the fifth ball of the over and Mills manages to poke the final ball to mid-wicket to keep the strike. New Zealand require three from six, Luke Wright with the final over.

48th over - 234-9 Great bowling from Swann - two dot balls before he gets one to fizz back sharply, crash through Gillespie's gate and just miss his timbers. Gillespie plays a horrible shot next ball and that's a maiden - the tourists require 12 from 12.

Wicket falls
47th over - WICKET - Southee run out (Bell) 6, NZ 233-9
One for Southee off the bowling of Collingwood before Mills slashes for one. But that's Southee gone, taking a risky single and Bell hitting the target from extra cover. The England players punch the air and it's all a bit tasty out there at the moment. Gillespie is the Kiwi number 11 and he's off the mark with a clip to backward square. Colly digs on in short and that should have been a no-ball, that was over head height.

"I remember a couple of years ago during a Test against Sri Lanka when Kumar Sangakarra reached 100 and Murali walked over to congratulate him only to be run out by McCullum. Double standards?"
John Bowes in the TMS inbox

46th over - 232-8 Two for Southee with a nurdle to mid-wicket. One leg-bye before Mills nicks a single with square drive. Sidebottom serves up a yorker which Southee manages to squirt to square leg for one. Fourteen needed from 24 deliveries.

"Batsman was running up the WRONG side of the wicket. He should have been running to the on side of the pitch as Sidebottom was bowling left arm over the wicket."
Terry Blake in the TMS inbox

45th over - 227-8 Southee is the new batsman and he's off the mark with a dabbed single to third man. Broad tries out a bumper and Mills pulls him away for four. Two more singles from the over and the Kiwis require 19 from five overs.

"And England can't work out why other countries despise their sportsmen..."
James, Auckland, in the TMS inbox

44th over - WICKET - Elliott run out (Broad/Pietersen) 24, NZ 220-8
Mills and Elliott pick up a single apiece off Sidebottom. Mills moves to 10 with a fend to leg. Controversy at The Oval! Elliott dabs the ball down in front of him and Mills goes haring down the pitch. Elliott hesitates before crashing into Sidebottom, Bell picks the ball up, throws to the bowler's end and KP whips the bails off... pick the bones out of that. The Kiwis are absolutely fuming up on the balcony, they clearly think that was against the spirit of the game - Elliott was, after all, on the deck clutching his leg when the bails were removed. One thing's for certain, KP's no Paolo Di Canio... that one's going to run and run...

43rd over - 217-7 Mills slices to third man for one before Elliott takes an easy single to short fine leg. One more for Mills with a yank off the bowling of Broad. Bit too easy this for this Kiwi pair, I can't help feeling England's fielding should be a bit more suffocating. Elliott slashes hard and misses outside off and New Zealand require 29 from 42.

42nd over - 214-7 Elliott nudges into the off-side for one and Mills glides delicately through the vacant slip cordon for three before repeating the stroke for four. Big runs, and there are two more from the final two balls of the over.

41st over - 204-7 Three for Elliott with a clip to deep mid-wicket - too straight from Collingwood. A single from Mills with a yank round the corner and Elliott gets another short one from Colly and tugs him round the corner for four - that's New Zealand's 200. KP pulls off a fine stop in the gully to save runs, but Elliott does nick a single from the final ball of the over to keep the strike. The Kiwis need 42 from nine overs - very doable.

"Talking about being branded on body parts, a few years ago my sister burnt her arm on our toaster. For a good few months you could still see the mirror image imprint of the word 'kenwood' on her arm. In fact, if she gets a suntan it's probably still there."
Kat, stuck on a bus somewhere in Kent, in the TMS inbox

40th over - 195-7 A single apiece from Elliott and Mills before Elliott punches Swann through cover for a couple. Elliott keeps the strike with a fiddle round the corner.

Wicket falls
39th over - WICKET - c Bopara b Collingwood 6, NZ 189-7
Important runs for the tourists, Colly straying onto Vettori's pads and the Kiwi skipper tickling him to the long-leg boundary. But that's a fine catch from Bopara at short mid-wicket, the Essex all-rounder leaping to his right and plucking a leg-side flick from Vettori out of the air. England favourites again. Mills is the new batter, and that's a wide from Colly.

"Surely he'd have had ronacuR imprinted on his cheek?"
TrickieDickie, Hollywood, in the TMS inbox

38th over - 185-6 Good lbw shout by Swann against new batsman Vettori, not sure what that was missing, certainly not the stumps. Vettori dabs to short mid-wicket for one run. Swann flights one next ball and Elliott doesn't know whether he's Essex or Kent, the ball fizzing over his middle stump, evading Ambrose and racing away for four. Two more singles from the over.

Wicket falls
37th over - WICKET - Styris run out (Swann/Collingwood) 69, NZ 178-6
Good work from KP at gully, preventing a single after a cut shot from Elliott. Elliott drives Collingwood for one before Styris is run out in quite ludicrous fashion. Elliott drives to third man and the quick-witted Swann throws to the bowler's end and Styris fails to make his ground by a good few yards. England back in it. Fine knock from Styris, although England should have had him back in the hutch a long time ago.

"Ben, whilst we are waiting for the final lashes of our beating by the Kiwis, I just wanted to thank you for ignoring me today. Somehow, I feel strangely cleansed."
Carole, sulking, in Maidenhead, in the TMS inbox

36th over - 175-5 Styris is still there however, and if England can't remove him, they'll lose. Just one single each from Styris and new man Elliott, good over from Broad.

Wicket falls
35th over - WICKET - Oram c Cook (sub) b Anderson 38, NZ 173-4
Styris tucks Anderson off his pads for two and notches one more with a flick to mid-wicket. Two for Oram with a prod to backward point, but Anderson gets his man next ball, Oram top-edging a pull to sub fielder Cook at deep square-leg. Good catch that, diving full length. CMJ just asked whether Craig McMillan was subjected to coporal punishment at his school. "Way before my time," replies McMillan. My brother was once mucking about in the changing rooms at school and got whacked with a trainer. He had 'Rucanor' printed on his backside for a couple of days.

34th over - 167-4 Short and wide from Broad and Styris slaps him into the covers for one. Oram waits on one and dabs Broad to third man for a single. The body language isn't great from the England fielders, they look like they're all at a funeral, but they don't really know the person that died, so they're kind of hanging about at the back looking sad, like they do in gangster movies. Does that make sense?

33rd over - 164-4 Siders is back on and that's not a clever start, Styris bringing up the fifty partnership with a tickle to the long-leg boundary. Three more singles before Oram plants a size 12 down the track and thumps Sidebottom to the long-on fence.

32nd over - 153-4 It's time for a spot of Bopara for the first time this series. He very nearly makes a breakthrough with his first delivery, Styris flashing outside off but missing. Styris flicks Bopara off his pads for on before Oram notches a couple with a flick to mid-wicket. One more from Styris into the covers and Oram nabs four more with a guide to the third-man boundary. This is turning into a stroll in the park for the tourists.

"If only two people know the exact recipe for Coca Cola how do they make the stuff on a commercial basis? You telling me that two people do all of the mixing?"
Oliver bored on an expensive train in the TMS inbox

31st over - 144-4 Colly over-pitches and is eased through the covers for four by Oram and follows up with a drop into the off-side for a single. Collingwood digs one in short and Styris carts him to mid-wicket for one more and Oram notches two more with a flick off his pads. New Zealand need 102 from 114 balls, betfair have the Kiwis as heavy favourites now.

30th over - 136-4 Oram sweeps Swann hard to the deep square-leg boundary for four and I've just seen a 'Manhattan' graph on the telly that reveals Oram averages more than 60 in ODIs against England and about 15 against everyone else. A couple of singles before Oram repeats his sweep shot for another boundary. The game beginning to drift away from England now, they desperately need another wicket here. Swann tosses one up outside off and Oram drives to long-off. An overthrow hands New Zealand two runs, and England are looking scruffier than Danny Kendall out there at the moment.

"Does Mr Lee (see below) know that you can be tagged by your IQ? Anyone with an IQ between 51-70 is a 'moron', however this is superior to 'imbecile' (26-50), and 'idiot' (0-25)."
Johnny X, St. Albans (IQ 49), in the TMS inbox

29th over - 123-4 England skipper Collingwood is going to have a bowl. He bangs one in short and is tugged away by Styris for a single. Oram picks up an easy single to deep cover before Styris yanks another short one from Colly to mid-wicket for one. Oram glides Colly to long-leg to keep the strike.

28th over - 119-4 Swanny getting plenty of tweak and Styris very nearly gets a leading edge trying to work him square. Styris nicks a single, but all that pressure counts for little when a leg-side wide dribbles between Ambrose's legs and runs away for five runs.

"Don't you think Ambrose looks like a little boy with helmet and an old fella without?"
Mick Allen in the TMS inbox

That's 50
27th over - 112-4 Width from Anderson and Styris slices him away to deep gully, where the ball falls just short of Swann, who does well to save four. Oram is off the mark with a single and that's Styris's 22nd fifty in ODIs courtesy of another creamy extra cover-drive for four.

Wicket falls
26th over - WICKET - Flynn c Bell b Swann 11, NZ 106-4
Swann picks up his second wicket, Flynn going for a heave across the line and Bell pouching a steepler at mid-wicket. England back on top slightly, 140 needed off 144 balls.

25th over - 106-3 Anderson back on and Styris chops him down to third man for one. Flynn drives iffily away from his body and picks up a single to third man before Anderson hits back with a wicked yorker. One more for Styris with a drive into the covers before Flynn rocks back and crashes a half-tracker from Anderson through mdid-wicket for four. Ten from the over.

"Sigourney Weaver's dad, Pat, is said to be one of only two people who know the exact recipe for Coca Cola."
Gareth Lythgoe (desperate for his 15 minutes) in the TMS inbox

24th over - 96-3 More control from Swann, although Styris, with a couple of flicks off his pads, and Flynn, with a work through mid-wicket for three, take five from his over.

23rd over - 91-3 Broad bangs one in and is flicked behind square by Styris for one. Flynn defends with soft hands into the covers and picks up a bonus single and Styris nicks another single with a mis-timed pull for one. Tuffers has just revealed he's having his palm read by a psychic tomorrow. My nan was into psychics and that sort of stuff. Bet they were never honest enough to tell her she'd spend most of the rest of her life sat in the same chair moaning about her piles.

"Ben, I'm off out to lunch now. Could you write down what happens for me? Cheers mate. I owe you one."
Doug in the TMS inbox

22nd over - 88-3 Swann really showing some good control here and a bit of turn and there's just a single from that over courtesy of a Styris clip into the leg side. Big lbw appeal by Swann against Flynn, but the umpire adjudged that was just missing leg stump.

21st over - 87-3 Flynn is the new batsman, and he's proved his mettle since getting his teeth splattered by Anderson back in the Test series. Broad serves up a wide down Styris's leg side before Styris picks up one with a fend to square leg. Flynn picks up a couple with a clip to deep mid-wicket. Ali (see below): you are a moron.

"Perhaps this will warm the cockles of Frank H Lee:
'You can knock it, you can rock it,
You can go to Timbucktu,
But you'll never find a Nessie in the zoo.
You could meet an anaconda,
A giraffe or kangaroo,
But you'll never find a Nessie in the zoo."
Ali in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
20th over - WICKET - How c&b Swann 37, NZ 83-3
How nurdles Swann into the leg side for one before Styris gets a leading edge and the ball falls just short of the bowler. Styris rotates the strike with a single to mid-wicket before Swanny gets his man, How chipping straight back to him. Bit of extra bounce from Swann, but a real nothingy shot.

19th over - 81-2 How gets on top of a short ball from Broad and picks up one to mid-wicket. One more single apiece and it's time for some Swann.

18th over - 78-2 Wright is into the attack and his first ball is down leg side and nibbled away for four by How. That's the fifty partnership from just 61 balls. Better line and length from the rest of Wright;s over and just one more run, a push into the covers from How. Anyone see Serena's outfit at Wimbledon the other day? If not, she was dripping in gold and wearing a white rain coat - she looked like she was turning up for a late shift at Huggy Bear's bar.

"If Frank H Lee 'hates being a miserable old git', why doesn't he stop being one then?"
Dan, London, in the TMS inbox

17th over - 73-2 One for How before Styris gets another life, bowler Broad unable to snaffle a return catch. Has anyone seen any close-ups of Styris? Has he got a cat-shaped face today? Styris is very good at rubbing salt into wounds - he marmalises a wide one from Broad through the covers for four two balls later and nicks a single next ball. How takes the strike from the final ball of the over.

16th over - 66-2 How slashes hard and Collingwood throws the ball up after fielding at backward point, but it was a bump ball. Anderson serves up a full-pitched delivery that squeezes under How's bat. How pushes into the off-side for a single and that's a decent bumper from Anderson, but Styris sways out of line with the minimum of fuss.

15th over - 65-2 How clips Broad to deep square-leg for one before Colly puts another one down at backward point. That was a meaty smite from Styris and certainly not straightforward, but Collingwood got two hands to it and would have expected to take it. One run for the stroke, Styris now on 28.

"Frank H Lee sounds like someone who had a packet of entirely green crisps for lunch."
Julian (Moron wanting to be famous) in the TMS inbox

14th over - 62-2 Anderson digs one in and How manages to roll his wrists on it and picks up one to mid-wicket. Anderson then gets one to spear into Styris's legs, but Ambrose aborts his appeal and Anderson declines to go up at all. Not sure why, Hawkeye reckons that was hitting the top of leg.

"Is it me or does Scott Styris always have the facial expression of someone who's just been told Father Christmas isn't real? Oh, and if Rob's buying, mine's a Creme de Menthe."
Phil Smith in the TMS inbox

13th over - 60-2 Sidebottom is spraying it around like a golf course sprinkler and Styris gets stuck in, carving him through cover point for four. And another cover-drive from Styris, but this time KP pulls it in just short and New Zealand run three.

"I think I know her sister (see below), she had a face like a dropped pie."
Jeremy Turner in the TMS inbox

12th over - 51-2 Collingwood turns to Broad, but the young Notts seamer is also intent on lobbing juicy titbits to the greedy Styris and is crashed through the covers for four. A wide from Broad to follow before he has Styris ducking with a bit of chin music.

11th over - 46-2 That's right in the slot from Sidebottom and Styris fills his boots, lacing a drive through the covers for four. And another! Squarer this time, but four more, and How gets in on the act, leg-glancing to the long-leg fence. Sidebottom's radar going awry, England could really do without that to be honest.

"I hate to be a miserable old git but is there any chance that you could go back to reporting just the cricket and not publishing totally inane comments by morons who just want their names on your programme? Personally, I have almost totally given up on the BBC and now watch the Daily Telegraph reports which, whilst boring as hell, at least do not have incredibly stupid comments to detract from the boredom on the field."
Frank H Lee in the TMS inbox

10th over - 33-2 Anderson ploughing a nice line outside How's off-stump but the Kiwi opener not tempted to have a nibble. How does pick up one with a drive into the covers and Styris follows up with a push to wide mid-off. Plenty of celebs in today, there's Jagger, looking more like Homo habilis every time I see him, and Sir Bobby Robson, who's looking in pretty good nick.

9th over - 31-2 Bit of form from Styris, who'll want to rub Shah's nose in it. Widish from Sidebottom and Styris slaps him through the covers for four. A single apiece from Styris and How and there's Richard Hadlee, Gladstone Small and Allan Lamb getting stuck into the hospitality. Hadlee still doesn't look very comfortable... I think Lamby might have just passed wind.

8th over - 25-2 Styris is the new batsman and he's handed a life on nought - outside edge and Shah puts down a dolly at second slip. Styris picks up a single, big let-off for the Kiwis.

Wicket falls
7th over - WICKET - Taylor c Broad b Sidebottom 15, NZ 23-2
A single for Taylor before How flicks into the leg side for a couple. But that's Taylor on toast - he goes for the big swish and top-edges to Broad at mid-on. Rancid stroke from Taylor and England right back in this...

"The green crisp: do you eat it or to you treat it like the black rice krispie?"
Edward Miles in the TMS inbox

6th over - 20-1 Anderson keeping things tight and he has a decent lbw shout turned down against How - that looked a little bit high. How rocks back and moves to 13 with a crackerjack stroke through point for four. Further to H (not 'the' H, surely?!), not sure about all women having either a cat-shaped face or a horse-shaped face - I once woke up next to a woman who had a face that was almost exactly the same shape as a bag of smashed crabs.

"There is a TV next to me in my very male office. Not only is Wimbledon on rather than the ODI, but the tennis chosen is Safin vs Djokovic rather than the delightful Ivanovic. I just can't get my head around it."
David Goodhew in the TMS inbox

5th over - 14-1 A wide from Sidebottom before he gets one past the edge of Taylor's defensive lunge. Another peach from Sidebottom drifts past Taylor's outside edge and that's an iffy over for Taylor, not really sure where the middle of his bat is yet.

4th over - 13-1 Taylor lunges forward and is beaten by Anderson before we possibly get one of the first cases of 'simulation' in cricket history - Taylor races through for a single and steamrollers Pietersen - who else? - who hits the deck as if he's been nutted by Lenny McLean. Actually, that must have hurt a bit, he got Taylor's grill right in his face. KP dabs at his face, checking for blood, and takes a couple of minutes to regain his composure. If Pietersen was an actor, he'd be Charles Hawtrey.

"Thanks for the offer of Saturday night Rob, mine is a nice drop or two of single malt or a nice beer. Am I allowed to mention Adnams on the BBC?"
Olly - multitasking at work by reading text from cricket and tennis - in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
3rd over - WICKET - McCullum c Swann b Sidebottom 1, NZ 7-1
The witch is dead! McCullum throws the kitchen sink at a wide one from Siders and toe-ends a catch to Swanny at first slip. Huge wicket for England, although I have no idea what Swann was doing at first slip, maybe he'll tell us in his next BBC column. Taylor is the new man and he's off the mark with a charging square drive for four. What a key man Taylor is for the Kiwis now. Not a good day for Serbia so far at Wimbledon - Djokovic (I fancied him) has just gone craching out and Ivanovic (I'd like to go for a long coastal walk with her) has just saved a match point.

2nd over - 7-0 Rob (see below), I drink blue WKD, and make sure you've got some straws. One from McCullum with a clip to leg. Width from Anderson and How slams him through cover-point for four, Bopara unable to claw it back from the boundary.

1st over - 1-0 Good Lord this Kiwi innings has crept up on us, I've still got flamed grilled steak crisp-crumbs all over my keyboard. Do you remember when crisps came in see-through bags and used to go soggy and sometimes some of them would even go green? You youngsters don't know how good you've got it with all these foil bags nowadays. Siders bowls the first over and How is watchful, although he does pick up a single with a punch straight down the pitch.


"What's your favourite tipple? I only ask because you'll be staying at my place with Tom and Sarah on Saturday, and I thought it best to ask."
Rob in the TMS inbox

"Ben, I'm sorry to hear you are melancholic today. Have you missed me? I have missed you, and you needn't worry, I shall not be abandoning you again. After months of travelling and no internet access I am now back in an office and eagerly following your writing."
Much love, Rachel Gamble in the TMS inbox

1438: Stop emailing for a bit, I need to get some lunch!

"Did you know that all women can be classified as having either a cat shaped face or a horse shaped face? Men are less easily classified though."
H, Hampshire, in the TMS inbox

"My Grandmother used to claim that, 'during the war, I was a GI's mattress'. Apparently, as a result, she was never without stockings or sugar during rationing."
Ed Scott in the TMS inbox

"Old people are usually poor so I don't blame your old chap for gnawing on your lamb shank when your back was turned. They probably spent all of their weekly disposable income on a lamb dinner for their son and couldn't bear to see the food wasted when you strolled."
John McCabe, Shrewsbury, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
50th over - WICKET - Anderson run out 11, Eng 245
One run for Sidebottom after he digs out a yorker before it all goes It's a Knockout - Sidebottom and Anderson should be batting dressed as giants. First Anderson has a huge heave-ho, sprays the ball to long-leg and the Kiwis miss with shies at both ends - very nearly a baseball-style double-play. Sidebottom pushes into the off-side next ball and just beats the throw, but Anderson is out with two balls remaining, the Lancashire seamer going for a suicidal single and Gillespie whipping off the bails. England probably about 60 runs short on that track - if McCullum gets going, the Kiwis could chase this down with plenty of overs to spare.

"A colleague told me the other day that a duck's quack does not echo. I told him he was quackers to believe that. I was promptly warned that humour like that would have me fired."
Phil, Maidenhead, in the TMS inbox

49th over - 242-9 Four priceless runs for Anderson, who advances down the track and outside edges through vacant first slip. And there's Nasser Hussain plucking the ball out of the air one-handed a few rows back while continuing his chat with a couple of fine looking ladies. A wide from Southee and Anderson repeats his outside edge for another four - nine precious runs for England in that over.

48th over - 233-9 Anderson is England's number 11 and he can bat a little bit. Sidebottom picks up a single to backward point and Anderson is off the mark with a tuck to deep square leg. Siders drives a Gillespie full-toss to long off and Anderson steals the strike with a nibble to fine leg. There's Collingwood on the England balcony, looking for all the world like he's just been dumped via text by Sienna Miller.

Wicket falls
47th over - WICKET - Broad c How b Southee 5, Eng 228-9
One for Broad with a steer to point. Southee has Sidebottom ducking a bouncer before the Notts seamer misses with a windy woosh outside off. Sidebottom does get off strike only for Broad to skew a fluffy catch straight to How at backward point. Another inoccuous dismissal, England might not last the overs.

Wicket falls
46th over - WICKET - Shah run out (Gillespie) 63, Eng 221-8 Broad punches to long-off where Gillespie loses his footing... never run on a mis-field as they always say, which is exactly what they do and Shah fails to beat Gillespie's shy from all of 70 yards. Magnificent throw, this England innings in pieces. Sidebottom is the new batsman. Broad cuts Oram away for one before Siders gets off the mark with a run to backward point. One more for Broad with a slash into the covers before Sidebottom heaves to long-on for a couple.

"Smoking is not brilliant, and I am sure you have heard all the reasons why. My main reason for you to give up would be that (in my humble opinion) it makes you infinitely more kissable, which should be a great incentive as long as you never find out what I look like."
Bridget Jones (yes, really), near Zürich, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
45th over - WICKET - Swann c How b Mills 3, Eng 219-7
That's not clever from Swann, hanging out his bat to dry and nibbling an outside-edge to How at backward-point. Good field placement, lazy stroke. Broad is the new batsman and he's beaten twice outside the off-stump by Mills. Broad, rather unfortunately, does get bat on ball from the final ball of the over and he'll have the strike at the start of the next over.

44th over - 219-6 Shah glides Oram to third-man for one and Swann picks up a single with an on-drive. Two more for Shah with a tuck to mid-wicket and another two with a push into the covers.

43rd over - 213-6 Mills back on and Swann picks up one with a skew to backward point. Swanny and Shah exchange singles before Swann is very nearly caught at long leg, Gillespie just failing to take a catch diving full-length. Low full-bunger from Mills and Shah laces him through extra-cover for four.

"By 'mooey', do you mean 'fizzog'?"
Andy Hutton, Hampshire, in the TMS inbox

"There's a lot of pressure now on Owais's shoulders - you've got to get 250 at The Oval or you're not really in it..."
Phil Tufnell on TMS

Wicket falls
42nd over - WICKET - Ambrose c Flynn b Oram 7, Eng 203-6
Ambrose really scratching around out there and his miserable series with the bat continues as he pulls Oram down Flynn's throat at square-leg. Graeme Swann is the new man in the middle and England will want him to hang around and rotate the strike while Shah gets lusty. Shah does pick up a couple with a flick to long leg.

Arlo White
"Does this open the great wicket-keeper debate? It's early days, but Phil Mustard didn't do a lot wrong, did he?"
Arlo White on TMS

That's 50
41st over - 203-5 That's the England 200, Shah turning Vettori to mid-wicket for a couple, and that's his fourth ODI fifty courtesy of a tickle into the leg side for one. That came from 63 balls and he's really stepped up a gear in the last couple of overs. Sam Endacott, you are getting buried sunshine - lots of erudite opera buffs reading this and the consensus is Mozart had arias coming out of his jacksie.

40th over - 198-5 Shah spreads his legs and shows his class - he times Gillespie over mid-off for four before clipping the bowler through mid-wicket for another. He really is delightful to watch once he gets going. And another! Shah, with elbow high, slaps Gillespie straight over his head to move to 47.

39th over - 189-5 How long has Graham Thorpe been in Australia for? He sounds like Sir Les Patterson, I thought he'd only been there for a year or so. Shah nicks a couple with a flick to mid-wicket before picking up one more with a slice into the covers. Ambrose and Shah exchange singles and there are five runs from the over. England will struggle to make 260 now...

Wicket falls
38th over - WICKET - Bopara c Oram b Gillespie 58, Eng 176-5
Shah picks up a single before Bopara, job half done, dollies one up to Oram at mid-on. Not clever from Bopara, but I suppose he didn't do it on purpose. Wicket-keeper Ambrose is next in and he's off the mark with a work to deep mid-wicket for three. Shah steals the strike with a nudge into the covers.

37th over - 175-4 Bopara and Shah milk Elliott like a faithful old cow, five singles from the over. 300 still a possibility?

"Re misguided attempts at pedantry: Sam Endacot (see below) should get along to a production of Don Giovanni, which contains 18 arias. I'm sure it'll reach Texas eventually, it was only performed for the first time in 1787."
Anthony, Oxford, in the TMS inbox

36th over - 170-4 Shah opens the face and picks up a single to third man before Bopara dreamily drives Oram through the covers for four. Really hitting his straps now Bopara and he picks up another single with a nudge into the covers. Shah steals the strike with a guide to third man.

"Does Aggers announcing turn-ups as out officially signal that they are in fact back in?"
Tim, York, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
35th over - 163-4 Time for some Elliott dibbly-dobblies and I have to agree with the boy Keenan below. I'm not sure you can trust old people to be honest. Last week I was having dinner at my mum and dad's and I left the room for a minute and returned to find my dad gnawing away at my lamb shank. Bopara flicks Elliott to square-leg for one and Shah picks up a single to long-off. That's a huckleberry of a stroke from Bopara to bring up only his second ODI fifty, a sweetly-timed flick to the deep square-leg boundary. That knock has taken him 70 balls, but he's looking far more comfortable now.

34th over - 156-4 Bopara edges Oram through the vacant slip cordon for four and nicks another with a dab to backward point. Shah yanks Oram through mid-wicket for two more and this pair are at least keeping the score ticking over nicely. That said, England could do with one or both giving it some serious rat-a-tat-tat.

33rd over - 147-4 Bopara flicks a leg-side delivery from Vettori to deep square-leg for one before Shah plays a lofted cover-drive for six, a shot so sexy the woman sitting across from me let out a little wimper and crossed her legs. Shah works Vettori to mid-wicket for one and Bopara picks up a single with a cover drive. Lots of "yes, no", and I really don't trust this pair between the sticks.

"My nan always claimed she was at school with Angela Lansbury, aka Jessica Fletcher, even though she was a full 18 years older than the pocket-sized super sleuth. Old people eh, you just can't trust them."
Gaz in the TMS inbox

32nd over - 138-4 Oram keeping it tight and he gets one past a hopeful swich outside off from Bopara. Bopara does nudge into the covers for one. They're chatting about pork pies on TMS and it's making me very hungry. For a foodstuff cobbled together from trotters and snouts and nail clippings, pork pies are surprisingly tasty. "Turn-ups are out," asserts Aggers on TMS. He forgot to add "and have been seen 1989".

31st over - 137-4 Bopara and Shah exchange singles before Vettori spears a wide down Bopara's leg side. Shah misses out with a slash outside off-stump but nicks the strike with a fiddle to square-leg.

"Choice of composer not good (see below). Try Puccini or Verdi for arias, apart from Mozart's Magic Flute, I don't believe Mozart was renowned for arias."
SAM Endacott, League City, Texas, in the TMS inbox

30th over - 131-4 A single apiece for Bopara and Shah before Bopara unfurls the shot of the day so far, a walking cover-drive for four.

29th over - 124-4 Beautiful bowling from Vettori, pushing one through and beating Shah outside the off-stump. And that's the maiden. Wes (see below) - don't think I'm a 58-year-old woman, but I did buy some suet from Tescos the other day and I don't like anything on TV any more, so maybe I am...

"You can't beat Brad Pitt talking about the 'dags' in Snatch..."
JB, London, in the TMS inbox

28th over - 124-4 Three singles from the over, all nudge and nurdle from Bopara and Shah, before Southee tests Bopara out with a bit of chin music, the ball jamming between the peak and grill of Bopara's helmet. That's what you call wearing one. Bopara calls for a new lid and we have a break in the action. After all that, I don't think he changed it. Lovely stroke from Bopara after the restart, four runs to wide long-on and he moves to 28.

"Up until today, the only person I've heard use the word 'mooey' is my Mum. Are you in fact a 58-year-old woman Dirs?"
Wes, MK, in the TMS inbox

27th over - 117-4 Bopara uses his feet to Vettori and laces him to the wide long-on fence. One more for Bopara and Shah nicks the strike with a single from the final ball of the over.

26th over - 111-4 Shah falls to one knee and crashes Southee over the mid-wicket fence for six. Much-needed aggro from the Middlesex batsman. Southee serves up a yorker but Shah does well to dig it out.

"Since you seem to have a decent audience, now seems a good time to find out if any team has ever bettered what my club, Purleigh in Essex, achieved on Saturday: we got 499-5 off 45 overs and as far as I've found out so far no team in the UK has done better than that."
Josh, Essex, in the TMS inbox

25th over - 104-4 Just one from Vettori's over, Bopara finding a hole at mid-wicket. Shah smothers the next five balls and this pair are displaying all the fluency of a couple of Scousers on a package holiday to Kavos.

24th over - 103-4 Southee serves up a peach, getting the ball to drift back and beat Shah's outside edge. Southee really nagging away at the Middlesex man and Shah is unable to get Southee away for any runs. Liz (see below), you might be right, I do feel slightly melancholic today, well spotted. Not sure why, although I am trying to quit smoking and have come to the conclusion that smoking is ruddy brilliant.

23rd over - 103-4 Vettori decides it's time for a bit of his left-arm spin. A bit of turn first up, but Bopara manages to squeeze him away for a single. Shah is the new batsman and he picks up a single with a nudge into the off-side.

"Ben, call me Columbo if you like, but I can't help notice there is a somewhat subdued air about you today. I worry you may be conforming to the dark side of staying on topic... Actually I've changed my mind, I'd like to be Jessica Fletcher rather than Columbo. She has a lovely range in the sensible shoes."
Liz, Dublin, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
22nd over - WICKET - Collingwood b Southee 14, Eng 101-4
Bopara picks up an easy two with a clip off his hip before Southee digs one in and shakes the Essex man up with a bit of helmet music. One leg bye, but that's bye bye Colly, the England skipper trying to glide to third man and playing on. England in serious trouble at The Oval.

21st over - 98-3 Bopara skews a drive to just short of gully but picks up one with a drive into the covers. Two more for Colly with a nurdle to mid-wicket and he picks up another boundary with a windy slash to the third man rope. Colly knows how to pace an innings and he's a nuggety little blighter. He is to batting what Peter Sissons was to reading the news.

"I'm in full support of Mrs Dirs's stance on Andy Murray. He openly admits not supporting England so I firmly believe two wrongs do make a right."
Tom Burton in the TMS inbox

20th over - 91-3 Bopara is a seriously bad runner between the wickets, he has all the composure of a thoroughbred horse at a fireworks display. The Essex all-rounder cracks the ball straight to the fielder at mid-on and a direct hit from Gillespie would have seen him off. Colly is off the mark with a doozy of a cover-drive and he follows up with a trademark short-arm jab over mid-wicket for four. Southee wearing some classic Collingwood all over his mooey.

19th over - 82-3 Oram tightens the grip and there's just one from that over, a drive from Bopara to backward point.

Wicket falls
18th over - WICKET - Bell c McCullum b Southee 46, Eng 81-3
One for Bopara with a steer to mid-wicket before England pick up to leg byes. Bell stands tall and laces Southee through the covers for four, but he's gone next ball, Southee dredging up a bit of away swing and Bell, attempting another glide to third man, feathering to McCullum behind the sticks. Colingwood is the new man and he survives the final ball of the over.

17th over - 74-2 Touch from Bell who dabs new bowler Oram down to third man for one. Bopara whips Oram to mid-wicket for a single of his own. Tim has just sent in one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen - Michael Barrymore doing an impression of John Barnes while being interviewed by Bob Wilson. It's so shocking, I actually watched it with my mouth open and I can't link to it. As Tim points out, it makes Abbot's Scotsman look as convincing as De Niro's LaMotta in Raging Bull.

"Pietersen's gone to pot since he went back to batting right-handed."
Ian Smith in the TMS inbox

16th over - 72-2 Southee onto Bell's hip and Bell flicks him away for a single. Bopara moves to eight with a scampered single to mid-wicket and Bell nicks one more. I phoned my mum last night and said, "Andy Murray did all right today", and she said, "He's Scottish, what's he got to do with me?" Maybe she's got a point.

15th over - 69-2 Peche de la peche from Bell, showing the maker's name and watching the ball race straight down the ground for four. Bell shuffles a single after a glide to third man and this is rebuilding time for this England pair.

"Graham Napier managed just 10 runs against the Spitfires in his two T20 innings combined. Joe Denly has an average of 43.75 for the eight matches so far. I know which player I'd rather have in my team."
Sarah (not biased in the slightest), Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

14th over - 64-2 Southee is on and Bell moves to 33 with a punch into the covers. One more for Bell with an uppish shovel to mid-wicket and this is a very handy start by New Zealand, they've got England by the jaffers at the moment and Southee just tightened the grip.

"Why isn't cricket played in shorts? It is the summer sport after all."
Doug, Bristol, in the TMS inbox

13th over - 61-2 Bell gets a full-pitched delivery on leg-stump and flicks it away for four. And that's another doozy of a stroke from the Warwickshire right-hander, carving Mills down to wide third man for another boundary. Bell looking in good touch, England really need him to stick around.

12th over - 52-2 Gillespie keeping it tighter than Beth Ditto's girdle and that's a maiden.

11th over - 52-2 New Zealand take the second Powerplay. Bell glides Mills down to third-man for one before Bopara turns off his pads for a couple and picks up one more with an inside edge for one. Bopara needs runs here, my stats man tells me he has only notched one fifty in 22 ODI innings, which is about as convincing as Russ Abbot's Scotsman.

Out for a duck
10th over - WICKET - Pietersen c Southee b Gillespie 0, 44-2
Bell picks up three with a flick off his pads and here's Pietersen... and it's time to dig out the cute little duck graphic! That's a horrible stroke from KP, attempting to fetch a short one from outside off-stump and Southee pouching a steepler at mid-on. Not sure what Pietersen was up to there, that's like an opera singer walking on stage and trying to bang out a Mozart aria without any warm-up. Bopara of Essex is the new man at the crease and he picks up a thick outside edge for four first-ball.

Wicket falls
9th over - WICKET - Wright c Taylor b Mills 18, Eng 41-1
Mills goes up for an lbw against Bell but that was a little high. Bell scampers a single before Wright misses with another horrible hoick... and he's out two balls later, and what an absolute crackerjack of a catch that is by Taylor at short mid-wicket - Wright slathered a long-hop from Mills and Taylor dragged it in with his right mitt, like a lizard lassoing a fly with his tongue. The old cameraman was even sold a dummy there, a la David Duckham for the Baa-Baas versus the All Blacks in 1973 - he thought that was racing away to the fence for four. Wright, like an elephant flailing away with his trunk on his way to the graveyard, is finally put out of his misery.

8th over - 40-0 Another rather desperate stroke from Wright, who dances down the pitch and waves his bat at a Gillespie bumper like a man trying to swat an angry seagull. Oram then increases the frustration with a fine stop at gully after a murderous stroke from Wright, but the Sussex biff-boffer releases some of the pressure with a flick off his pads for four from the final ball of the over.

"As an Essex fan, who wasn't at the game last night, I can understand why Napier was getting some stick from the fan behind Andrew Hill before coming out to bat. He has been hit and miss this season. I therefore find it very odd that after one (admittedly fantastic) innings people are calling for his inclusion in the England set up."
Chris Smith in the TMS inbox

7th over - 36-0 Wright spoons Mills rather unconvincingly over his head for a couple befoer mis-timing another ugly old mamma just beyond the fielder at short mid-wicket for one. Looking in iffy nick is Wright, he looks like he's batting with a stale baguette.

"I'm afraid you're wrong, Boycott hit eight sixes, Tavare didn't hit one, but Gavaskar hit 26. Keep up the commentary though, it's a nice change from writing my BSc project on the chemistry of the transactinide elements!"
Christopher in the TMS inbox

6th over - 33-0 Ugly from Wright, darting down the track and heaving Gillespie down to third man for four. That shot was so ugly, it would have been rejected by a Victorian freak show. A single for Wright before Bell shows his class, square-driving for four. Two more for Bell with a clip to mid-wicket.

5th over - 22-0 Pretty humid at The Oval but no swing to speak off. Wright picks up two with a flick to wide mid-on. One wide from Mills before Wright nicks the strike with a prod to third man. There's Gladstone Small and Richard Hadlee sharing a Rola Cola up in the Pavillion. It all looks a bit awkward before Gladstone jams a mobile to his ear and starts jabbering. I'm convinced that's a phantom phonecall.

4th over - 18-0 Bell pokes Gillespie through point and runs two. Gillespie serves up a no-ball and Bell has another free hit... and this time he latches onto it, falling away to leg and carving Gillespie over extra-cover for the first maximum of the match. A replay suggests that wasn't actually a no-ball by Gillespie, which has got to be a bit of a choker. Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is on TMS at lunch time chatting about the Zimbabwe situation, if that's your bag.

3rd over - 8-0 Bell nicks a single before Wright heaves Mills down to third-man where Southee, taking his eye off a spinning ball, misfields and gives up two.

"I was at the Twenty20 match in your neck of the woods last night, Dirs, watching some awesome hitting from Graham Napier. Wonder if the fellow Essex fan sat behind me who gave Napier plenty of stick as he strolled to the crease felt a bit foolish about an hour later?"
Andrew Hill in the TMS inbox

2nd over - 5-0 Mr Kavanagh did also mention the "awesome" Twenty20 encounter between Essex and Sussex at Chelmsford last night. Sixteen sixes from Graham Napier, which is more than Boycott, Gavaskar and Tavare notched between them in their entire careers. To be honest, I just made that up, but it's probably true. Wright has a big old woosh outisde off-stump and misses and that's a maiden from Gillsespie.

1st over - 5-0 Mills has first bung and his opening delivery is a massive no-ball and England have a free hit. Bell doesn't get hold of that at all, dribbling the ball back past Mills for a single. Wright tucks Mills off his pads for one before Bell clips two to fine-leg - and that's the first over. Michael Kavanagh just emailed in and called me a "keyboard jockey". Sounds like some strange fetish. Come to think of it, this spacebar has been playing up a bit.

1040: Gus Fraser reckons England will need more than 300 to be competitive today and if that's the case, we may well see a few more Pietersen switch-hits, which would no doubt excite everybody no end. Here's the Sugababes! And here come Umpires Benson and Davis...

England: LJ Wright, IR Bell, KP Pietersen, RS Bopara, PD Collingwood, OA Shah, TR Ambrose, GP Swann, SCJ Broad, RJ Sidebottom, JM Anderson New Zealand: BB McCullum, JM How, LRPL Taylor, SB Styris, DR Flynn, JDP Oram, GD Elliott, DL Vettori, KD Mills, TG Southee, MR Gillespie

Angus Fraser
"I suppose you've got to do something to get the players loose and you can't wrap players up in cotton wool. The odd game of touch rugby or football on the outfield does cause the odd injury scare, but it's less boring than the old stretches we used to do."
Angus Fraser on TMS

1033: Is it my imagination or has the idea of picking a side and players specifically for a pitch a thing of the past? Can't help thinking Tremmers would have got plenty of bounce out of this Oval track, and, unlike Anderson at Bristol, he might not have bowled loads of half-bungers on leg stump.

1027: New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori has won the toss at The Oval and will bowl first. Is that a strange decision? Seems like a strange decision to me. Why would you not bat first on a sunny day at The Oval? Watch those Kiwis ram these words down my throat, the black-shirted swines - they do like a chase. Vettori reckons "anything under 280 and we'll have done a good job".

1024: New just in that Bell has been passed fit and will start, while seamer Chris Tremlett, who looked pretty impressive in the last game, has been dropped for Ryan Sidebottom. Jimmy Anderson can consider himself lucky, he got some fearful tap in the last match, although he did take a few wickets.

1019: Morning all. The main news this morning concerns Ian Bell - the ruddy idiot has rubbered his knee playing rugby and might miss this fourth one-dayer. Alastair Cook is ready to step in if the Warwickshire batsman doesn't make it. For the Kiwis, powerful all-rounder Jacob Oram will play his first game of the series after recovering from a hamstring injury. Bright and breezy down in south London, we will almost certainly get a full day's play.

see also
Last-ball error hands NZ victory
25 Jun 08 |  England
England v NZ 4th ODI photos
25 Jun 08 |  Cricket
New Zealand in England in 2008
14 Nov 07 |  Cricket

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