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New Zealand v England: Three Lions to bludgeon hosts

| 12.02.2013

England’s ODI series in New Zealand goes down to the final game, the third ODI in Auckland, to decide a winner. Including the T20’s no side has been able to string more than one win together so far, which could be bad news for the tourists having sealed a thumping win ast time out.

However, one look at New Zealand’s recent ODI record at Eden Park will fill Ashley Giles and his boys with hope ahead of the decider. The Black Caps have only celebrated victory in two of the last six 50 over games there, and lost to England last time they were in town in 2008.

That torrid history coupled with their eight-wicket defeat in the last match makes New Zealand 6/4 outsiders in their own back yard, while England – who have won four of their last five 50 over battles at the ground – can be gobbled up at 8/15.

At Napier, England only required four batters as they milked the ineffectual New Zealand attack like a farmer milks his favourite cow. The Kiwi’s biggest problem in this series has been early wickets, with Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott using all of their Test-hardened class to negotiate the early overs without disaster. In fact, Cook and Bell put on 89 carefree runs before being separated on Wednesday, making the 5/6 available for their opening stand tomorrow to be over 32.5 extremely tempting.

That said, the host’s own batsmen, namely Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, have done themselves proud so far. Since the longer one-day format took centre stage, England have been rendered clueless by McCullum’s brutal hitting. The new Kiwi skipper has scored a cumulative total of 143 runs from 97 battered balls that have included seven maximums. The Eden Park dimensions are famously small, especially straight, and with the line set at 0.5 backing New Zealand’s do-it-all keeper-captain to go over that for match sixes is a no brainer.

With a high scoring match anticipated, with the previously mentioned small boundaries combining with a drop-in pitch and fair weather to make bowlers scowl, a bet on England’s latest great batting hope, Joe Root, is also advised. The Yorkshire lad has scored at least 30 in each of his first six trips to the ODI middle. He is the only player to achieve that feat in 50 over history and can be backed at 5/6 to continue the streak.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton