England vs New Zealand 4th ODI: Preview and Prediction
The hosts are currently leading the series, however, the Blackcaps still have the opportunity to spoil their party by winning the last match and ending the series levelled as they did in the 4-match T20I series earlier this month.
The English side is surely well-versed with the venue and ambience but Tom Latham‘s men proved that they are not scared of anyone in the first match of the ODI series. Nevertheless, it will be a difficult task for visitors because they have suffered two consecutive gargantuan losses at two different venues against England in the last couple of games.
The Blackcaps have to overcome the odds of their current form to level the series and upset the hosts before they prepare for a three-match ODI series against Ireland.
What have they done so far?
New Zealand and England initially played a four-match T20I series, which ended up as a 2-2 draw after the Blackcaps crafted a comeback by winning the last two matches. Interestingly, they also started the ODI series with similar momentum. Playing at the Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground, the Blackcaps decided to bowl first.
The English side played well as Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Liam Livingstone completed their half-centuries to lead the hosts towards a total of 291. Rachin Ravindra took three wickets and also turned out to be the most economical bowler for the Blackcaps. Chasing the target, Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell scored centuries for New Zealand recording a comfortable win and giving the visitors a 1-0 lead after the first match.
In the next match, Trent Boult quickly took three wickets in the powerplay and annihilated the English top order but the combined efforts of Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, and Jos Buttler, supported by Liam Livingstone’s 95 helped the Poms score 226 in 34 overs. The length of the match was decreased because of rain.
The first game’s centurion, Conway was dismissed early in the match by Gus Atkinson. Will Young’s innings of 33 runs and Mitchell’s half-century flamed the hopes of a potential comeback for the Blackcaps but after their dismissal, no other batter managed to settle their feet in the match and New Zealand ended up losing the match by 79 runs.
Playing at the Oval, Tom Latham again decided to bowl first after winning the toss. Trent Boult again took two early wickets for the Blackcaps in his initial overs. However, the partnership between Ben Stokes and Dawid Malan decided the tempo of the game. Malan scored 96 runs off 95 deliveries while Stokes made a new record by scoring 182 runs in 124 balls for the English cricket team.
Nevertheless, with almost two overs remaining, England got all out at the score of 368. To chase the mammoth total, the Blackcaps were required to build partnerships but they failed to capitalize on the plan throughout the game. Only Glenn Phillips looked sharp as he scored 72 runs off 76 balls but the batting all-rounder lacked support from the whole team. New Zealand lost the third ODI of the series by 181 runs.
Head to Head Record
England and New Zealand have squared off against each other in one-day internationals for a total of 93 times. The Poms have managed to record 43 wins while the Blackcaps have walked out victorious on 44 occasions. The remaining six matches between the two teams have ended in a draw or no result.
Consequently, the English cricket team has a brilliant chance to equal the record while New Zealand can level the series as well as grab the chance of taking a 2-match lead in the head-to-head record by winning the last match of the series.
Ben Stokes (England): Ben Stokes has played the role of a prolific all-rounder for the English cricket team. However, due to his chronic knee injury, the English test skipper has been restricted to the role of a batsman only. Interestingly, he is fulfilling the boots of a full-time batter perfectly.
In the first match of the series, he scored an important half-century. On the other hand, he scored the highest individual ODI score for England in the third game (182). He would have become the first Englishman to score a double century in ODI cricket but he was dismissed by Benjamin Lister. Hence, Stokes’ current form will be a point of concern for the Blackcaps.
Trent Boult (New Zealand): Since making his comeback in the ODI team of the Blackcaps, the left-arm seamer has been in stellar form. The 34-year-old has portrayed his experience as well as bowling prowess against the English batting line-up in every single match. However, he has lacked support from other bowlers such as Lockie Ferguson and Kyle Jamieson.
He was not picked for the first match and he made his return to the playing squad by taking three wickets. In the third ODI, after taking the wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root in his two initial overs, Boult was called by the skipper in the middle overs, where he did his job by dismissing Malan. Hence, Trent Boult can give England problems anytime he arrives to bowl.
England: Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler © (wk), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Gus Atkinson, Reece Topley
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Finn Alenn, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham © (wk), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Benjamin Lister
New Zealand has shown the potential to craft a comeback and steal the victory but it seems highly unlikely in the ODI series. The English cricket team is currently filled with confidence, especially after the last match and the Blackcaps would be hoping to turn the huge stone upside down at the most storied cricketing venue in the world.