Collingwood keeps England in contention

Auckland, February 15:

Skipper Paul Collingwood led from the front as England bounced back from two drubbings to win the third one-day international against New Zealand today to keep the series alive.

After taking 3-43 with the ball, Collingwood flayed 70 runs off just 50 balls to drag his side across the line when their momentum slowed. England were set a revised target of 229 in 47 overs following a rain disruption at the start of their innings after New Zealand notched 234-9, thanks largely to a knock of 88 by Jacob Oram.

Phil Mustard helped the tourists to a flying start with 15 off nine balls before he was run out by New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori while Alastair Cook (nine) fell to Oram to leave England 31-2. Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell put on 107-run third-wicket partnership before Bell (73) was unfortunate to be given out leg before wicket to Vettori. Two overs later Pietersen (41) was also out LBW to Vettori.

But just when New Zealand sensed they had a chance, Collingwood had other ideas. While Vettori pinned down the batsmen at one end, finishing with figures of 2-23 off 10 overs, Collingwood made the bowlers at the other end suffer as he drove England towards victory.

Earlier, Vettori had acted as the solid back up Oram needed as he rescued New Zealand from a batting collapse. The home side were struggling at 53-4 after 15 overs. Brendon McCullum (four) was out in the second over, Jamie How scored 10, Jesse Ryder 23 and Scott Styris three as James Anderson and Stuart Broad took control with two wickets apiece.

Peter Fulton manage only four before being bowled by Collingwood, and when Ross Taylor (31) became the England captain’s second victim, New Zealand were 95-6 in the 30th over.

Oram and Vettori prevented a total collapse, putting on 74 for the seventh wicket before Vettori (42) became Collingwood’s third victim, caught by Owais Shah. Broad (3-32) and Collingwood (3-43) took three wickets each.

The remaining matches in the series are in Napier on Wednesday and Christchurch on the following Saturday.