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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 21 February 2024

In run-up to World Cup, England’s Dawid Malan shows worth, not Harry Brook

England beat New Zealand by 100 runs in fourth match of the series to complete a 3-1 win on Friday

Our Bureau London Published 17.09.23, 07:55 AM
England’s Dawid Malan walks back after being dismissed for 127, against New Zealand at Lord’s on Friday.

England’s Dawid Malan walks back after being dismissed for 127, against New Zealand at Lord’s on Friday. AP/PTI

England didn’t leave it late this time at Lord’s.

In the teams’ first ODI me­eting at the home of cricket since that epic 2019 World Cup final, England beat New Zealand by 100 runs in the fourth match of the series to complete a 3-1 win on Friday.

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With Ben Stokes rested, Dawid Malan took up the mantle of England’s power hitter by smashing 127 off 114 balls in the team’s total of 311/9.

New Zealand were dismissed for 211 after 38.2 overs and lost the last three matches of the series, having opened it with an eight-wicket victory in Cardiff last week.

The teams will next meet in the 50-over format in Ahmedabad on October 5 in the opening game of the World Cup, when the English will be defending the title they clinched in that dramatic Super Over four years ago. They’ll head to India in good heart and with some welcome selection posers.

Malan is sure to be in the team. He backed up his knock of 96 in Wednesday’s third ODI — when he was upstaged by Stokes making 182 for the highest individual ODI score by an England player — by hitting 14 fours and three sixes to post his fifth century in the 50-over format.

He went past 1,000 ODI runs in his 21st appearance, claiming a share of Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott’s joint record. With an average of 61.52 and a strike-rate of96, he has a formidable track record.

England opener Jason Roy didn’t play — meaning he was absent for the entire series — after failing to get over a back injury. That’s a concern ahead of the World Cup as he looks to hold off Harry Brook for a place in the squad.

Brook was unable to make a go of his chance at No. 4, though, allowing Roy some respite. He was dismissed for 10 when he hit Rachin Ravindra’s drag-down straight to mid-on.

With 37 from his three outings this series, Brook has failed to amplify his case.

England, who won the toss, slowed in the second half of the innings as wickets fell at regular intervals, but still went beyond 300 for the second straight match.

Jos Buttler contributed 36 off 31 balls, while Joe Root (29) and Liam Livingstone (28) got starts but couldn’t take advantage of them.

Stokes wasn’t playing at Lord’s to manage his fitness after featuring in the first three matches of the series.

Spinner Rachin Ravindra had the best bowling figures of 4/60 off his 10 overs.

New Zealand would like to quickly pick themselves up before they head to India.

Brief scores: England 311/9 in 50 ovs (Dawid Malan 127; Rachin Ravindra 4/60). New Zealand 211 in 38.2 ovs (Rachin Ravindra 61; Moeen Ali 4/50). England won by 100 runs

With inputs from AP/PTI

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