29 June 2008

Unusual NZ cricket results

Today New Zealand beat England by 51 runs in the 5th one-day international at Lord's, thereby winning the 5-match series 3-1 with one match abandoned due to rain. This capped off an intriguing one-day series in which New Zealand's victories often came in uncommon forms.

In the first innings of today's match New Zealand completed a relatively rare feat: the team scored 266/5 in its 50 overs. This may not sound particularly impressive, but consider this: in the 209 ODIs the team has played this decade so far, it has batted first 96 times. In those matches in which a result was achieved, it has only lost five or fewer wickets against quality opposition (i.e. excluding the United States, Zimbabwe, Canada and Bangladesh) on eight occasions. And today's result marked the first such occasion in over four years - the last occurrence was against South Africa in Wellington in February 2004. Here's a complete list:

Completed ODIs in the 2000s against quality opposition in which NZ batted first and lost five or fewer wickets

01.11.2000 114/5 vs South Africa in Durban (lost by 6 wkts DL)

25.02.2001 284/5 vs Pakistan in Christchurch (won by 138 runs)

26.01.2002 242/5 vs Australia in Adelaide (won by 77 runs)

24.04.2002 277/5 vs Pakistan in Rawalpindi (lost by 3 wkts)

12.06.2002 212/5 vs West Indies in Port of Spain (won by 9 runs DL)

29.11.2003 291/5 vs Pakistan in Lahore (lost by 3 wkts)

20.02.2004 254/5 vs South Africa in Wellington (won by 5 runs)

28.06.2008 266/5 vs England at Lord's (won by 51 runs)


New Zealand's exciting defeat of England in the 4th one-dayer at the Oval on 25 June marked another rare feat, because it was one of only three one-wicket ODI victories by New Zealand this decade. It seems to be something of a trend in recent years though, as all three have occurred in the past two years. The most recent example before this England tour was a match against Sri Lanka on New Year's Eve 2006 in Queenstown, in which bowler Michael Mason famously struck the last ball of the match for a boundary, having played out five dot balls against Sanath Jayasuriya with the in-form batsman James Franklin stranded at the non-striker's end.

ODIs in the 2000s in which NZ won by 1 wicket (not-out batsmen)

31.12.2006 vs Sri Lanka at Queenstown (James Franklin 45*, Michael Mason 4*)

20.02.2007 vs Australia at Hamilton (Brendon McCullum 86*, Jeetan Patel 0*)

25.06.2008 vs England at the Oval (Kyle Mills 25*, Mark Gillespie 4*)


Another relatively rare victory occurred in the 3rd one-dayer at Bristol on 21 June. New Zealand batted first and posted a total of only 182 from its 50 overs, yet it still beat England by 22 runs in a low-scoring duel of a match. In fact, the Bristol victory was one of only five occurrences this decade in which New Zealand has batted first, scored under 200 runs and gone on to win the match. Interestingly, in all of these matches the New Zealand captain lost the toss and was asked to bat first. All of the matches were against quality opposition, and only the Mumbai match produced what could be described as a walkover.

ODIs in the 2000s in which NZ batted first, scored under 200 runs and won

11.01.2002 199/8 vs Australia at the MCG (won by 23 runs)

19.05.2003 156/8 vs Sri Lanka in Dambulla (won by 9 runs)

29.02.2004 193/8 (33 ov) vs South Africa in Auckland (won by 2 runs DL)

16.10.2006 195 vs South Africa at Mumbai (won by 87 runs)

21.06.2008 182 vs England at Bristol (won by 22 runs)
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