New low for sorry England

ENGLAND suffered a 10-wicket defeat for only the fourth time in their history today as New Zealand took a stranglehold on their one-day series at Seddon Park.

ENGLAND suffered a 10-wicket defeat for only the fourth time in their history today as New Zealand took a stranglehold on their one-day series at Seddon Park.

Hoping to make amends for Saturday's desperate six-wicket defeat at Wellington, which was completed with 20 overs to spare, England instead slumped to even greater depths in the second game of the five-match series.

Put into bat, the tourists were on course for a competitive total at 85 for two after 15 overs when rain halted play for a further two hours and 20 minutes and restricted the match to 36 overs a side.

But their momentum was lost and England slumped to 158 all out by losing eight wickets for 73 runs after the restart and New Zealand completed their victory in only 18.1 overs, chasing a target of 165 set by the Duckworth-Lewis method of calculation.

It was only the fourth time in 485 one-day internationals that England had suffered such a defeat and followed a record one-day partnership by New Zealand against England from Jessie Ryder and Brendon McCullum off only 109 balls.

Ryder, playing only his second one-day international, won the man-of-the-match award after hitting an unbeaten 79 off 62 balls including 11 fours and two sixes while McCullum was unbeaten on 80 from 47 balls including eight fours and five sixes.

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It was a desperately inept display, which included three run-outs in England's innings for the second successive match while hard-hitting openers McCullum and Ryder were both dropped inside the first five overs of New Zealand's reply.

Those two misses - McCullum was dropped before he had scored by wicketkeeper Phil Mustard off Jimmy Anderson and Ryder missed on nine by Owais Shah at slip off Ryan Sidebottom - were particularly costly with New Zealand's openers hammering England's wayward attack.

They raced to a half-century partnership in only 39 balls and brought up their century stand in 66 balls with both batsmen racing to quickfire half-centuries, Ryder reaching the landmark off only 39 balls and McCullum bringing it up off only 27 balls.

England's innings again capitulated through a mixture of bad shots and mix-ups while running between the wickets, but started when Kevin Pietersen was given lbw to seamer Michael Mason, who was brought into New Zealand's line-up as a replacement for spinner Jeetan Patel, just 15 balls after the restart.

The tourists had no time to digest the loss of Pietersen before they also lost captain Paul Collingwood to a senseless run out after he pushed Mason past point and set off for a quick two only to be beaten back to his crease by Jacob Oram's throw from the deep.

Owais Shah fell in Mason's next over when a full-length delivery nipped back and clipped his off-stump, but the low point of England's innings came seven overs later after an awful mix-up between Essex pair Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara.

Cook had batted impressively to reach 53 off 69 balls, which included six fours, when he was called for a single when Bopara drove New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori straight to Ross Taylor at cover.

Left-handed opener Cook set off for the run but soon gave up when he realised he was several yards short and England, dismissed for a lowly 130 on Saturday, facing another humiliating total.

Bopara, scratchy throughout his innings of 23, could only watch on helplessly as Graeme Swann edged Vettori behind attempting to cut in his next over.

Just as Stuart Broad gave England renewed hope of reaching a competitive total by reversing Vettori for four and then pulling Kyle Mills to fine leg for another boundary, Bopara's innings came to an end when he chipped a leg-side full toss straight to mid-wicket.

Ryan Sidebottom completed another hat-trick of England run-outs and England's innings came to a halt with only four overs of the innings completed when Broad was caught at deep extra cover for a spirited 23 off 31 balls.

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