Long batting order wins it for New Zealand

DURBAN, South Africa, Sep 18 (Reuters) Craig McMillan said New Zealand's lengthy batting order was the key to their five-run win over England in a Twenty20 World Cup match today.

''We've got power all the way down, so even when we're 31 for four as we were today we still have Scott Styris, Jacob Oram and myself who can clear the boundary.'' McMillan, top scorer with 57, told a news conference.

''Only one of us needs to come off for us to form a good partnership and get a score.'' Styris and McMillan shared 60 for the fifth wicket to help steer New Zealand, who had slumped to 31 for four, to a total of 164 for nine.

England were restricted to 159 for eight in reply.

''We knew that if we could get up to about 160 that we could scrap and fight and eventually strangle England,'' McMillan said.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said his team's dismissal of England big hitters Kevin Pietersen (24) and Andrew Flintoff (1) in the 19th over was crucial.

''You've got to take key wickets, and I think getting Pietersen and Flintoff in the same over really swung the game our way,'' Vettori told a news conference.

England captain Paul Collingwood had praise for Styris (42) and McMillan.

''They got momentum in the middle part of their innings,'' Collingwood told a news conference. ''Styris and McMillan came in and played really well, it was difficult to stop them.'' Batsman Vikram Solanki kept wicket for England after Matt Prior broke a thumb during a training session on Monday.

England media officer James Avery told reporters Durham wicketkeeper Phil Mustard would replace Prior for the one-day series in Sri Lanka in October.


Story first published: Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 20:03 [IST]
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