New Zealand have set alarm bells ringing ahead of the Champions Trophy for experts who have not been considering the team. By defeating England mercilessly in two ODIs to win the three-match series, the Black Caps have proved that they have the guts to become champions. The outstanding 89-run victory in the second ODI gave an edge to New Zealand over England after a long time, while England’s red kit did not prove to be a good omen for them as just after one-sided victory in Tests, the hosts have been given a bashing by the visitors.

[caption id="attachment_1286" align="alignright" width="180"]Martin Guptill plays biggest ODI innings for New Zealand (Photo: AP) Martin Guptill plays biggest ODI innings for New Zealand (Photo: AP)[/caption]

Studdd with two sixes and 19 fours, Martin Guptill’s riveting 189 off 155 was the day’s best performance that helped New Zealand amass a huge target  of 359 and that too at the loss of three wickets. The target proved massive for England and they could not gain an upper hand throughout the match. The hosts were bowled out on 273 and even a 109-run innings by Jonathan Trott, who had dropped Guptill when he was just 13, could not salvage the damage that had been done.

New Zealand not only beat England on their home ground but also became the first team to win series in England since 2009. Australia last claimed series in England when they trounced the hosts 6-1 in the seven-match ODI series. England did not lose a home series since then and Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, West Indies, South Africa and even Australia failed to beat England during the period. The win also had an effect on ranking as New Zealand jumped to seventh position from eighth, while England were relegated to fourth position from second.

Guptill named many a record in the match played at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. He played the biggest ODI innings by any New Zealand player, breaking the record of Lou Vincent. He also levelled Vivian Richards’ record of biggest ODI innings played in England which he made in 1984 by scoring unbeaten 189 runs.

Guptill was being provided with constant support from the second end that helped New Zealand gain an edge over the opponents even before they started their innings. Kane Williamson scored 55 runs and added 120 runs to the team’s total along with Guptill in the second wicket. Guptill and Ross Taylor made a partnership of 109 runs in the third wicket in which the latter’s share was 60.

When Taylor was dismissed in the 42nd over, New Zealand were 241. Then Guptill and Brendon McCullum sent shock waves through the already crumbling English team. A decisive partnership of 118 off 50 in which McCullum’s share was 40 off just 19 balls, including two sixes and three fours.

Apart from the visitors’ historic victory, the two ODIs have also exposed the hosts’ preparations as far as bowling is concerned. The matches showed that England are in quite vulnerable position in the absence of Stuart Broad and Steven Finn. Looking at the bowling figures, Tim Bresnan gave 73 in 10 overs, Chris Woakes 49 in 7, Jade Dernbach 87 in 10, Grame Swann 61 in 10 and Strike bowler James Anderson being no exception with 65 in 10.

[caption id="attachment_1285" align="alignright" width="300"]Red kit proved a bad omen for England and they lost both ODIs (Photo: AP) Red kit proved a bad omen for England and they lost both ODIs (Photo: AP)[/caption]

After such a ruthless by the visitors, the only hope left for England also ended when openers Alastair Cook (34) and Ian Bell (25) departed when the total was 64. The gap created after the loss of openers could not be fulfilled even after a century by Jonathan Trott. The presence of Eoin Morgan at the crease was providing England with a sense of relief but when he was dismissed by Grant Elliott in the 30th over, the team’s score was just 166.

James Anderson tried to do his bit by making 28 off 19 but England’s innings ended on the first ball of the 45th over on just 273.

New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan bowled remarkably well and took three wickets against just 35 runs in 8.1 overs. Kane Williamson took two, while Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell and Elliott took one wicket apiece. With the riveting performance, the Kiwi bowlers did not make Trent Boult’s absence felt.

Guptill received back-to-back man-of-the-match award. Let’s see if he set a record of making three consecutive ODI centuries when the two teams play the third match on June 5 in Trent Bridge.
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