Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Munro Helps Black Caps Overcome England Lions To Win One-Day Series

Munro Helps Black Caps Overcome England Lions To Win One-Day Series

Colin Munro was at the crease when a powerful New Zealand 'A' side clinched a seven wicket win over England Lions to win the Royal London One-Day Triangular Series in a rain-affected finale at New Road.

Munro, who has been part of Worcestershire's NatWest T20 Blast squad all summer, finished on 18 not out from 15 balls as the Black Caps, containing seven players with Test experience, chased down a revised target of 220 in 36 overs under the Duckworth Lewis system.

He will now return home tomorrow in time for the birth of his first baby towards the end of August.

Jonny Bairstow (77) and Tom Smith (71 not out) enabled the Lions to recover from 43-4 after they had been put into bat to reach 255-8 in their 50 overs.

But an opening stand of 109 in 15.3 overs between Hamish Rutherford and Anton Devcich after a lengthy break for rain set New Zealand on the path to a comfortable victory with 3.3 overs to spare.

New Zealand ended the series with an unbeaten record and seven points from their four games with England runners-up on four points and Sri Lanka 'A' one point.

The Lions, on the same wicket used for their clash yesterday with Sri Lanka 'A', quickly ran into trouble against Black Caps paceman Matthew Henry during a fine opening spell of 6-1-18-3.

It was Scott Kuggeleijn who made the first breakthrough when James Vince (15) was caught at mid-wicket by Colin Munro off a mis-timed pull.

But then Henry took centre stage in bowling yesterday's two century-makers Ravi Bopara (2) and James Taylor (1) and having Jason Roy (8) caught behind off a delivery which left him after he advanced down the wicket.

Henry should have had a fourth wicket as Alec Hales on eight was dropped at second slip by Dean Brownlie.

Hales put that let-off behind him and collected two boundaries in the same over off Kuggeleijn but after making 37 he pushed forward to spinner Ish Sodhi and was caught behind.

The Lions were then 89-5 in the 21st over but then Jonny Bairstow and Tom Smith put together the most substantial stand of the innings – 91 in 17 overs for the sixth wicket.

Bairstow maintained the fine form he has shown throughout the series and swept Sodhi for four to reach 50 off 66 balls with four fours.

The Yorkshire batsman produced several fierce pulls to the boundary but after making 77 he was caught behind down the legside off Bracewell.

David Willey (3) and Craig Overton (2) departed cheaply as the Lions slimped to 194-8 in the 43rd over.

But their innings was given late impetus by Smith and Toby Roland-Jones who added an unbroken 61 in seven overs.

Smith struck 71 not out from 87 balls with four fours and one six while Roland-Jones, who replaced Steven Finn in the side, hit an unbeaten 29 as the Lions closed on 255-8.

Rutherford had two pieces of luck early in his innings, inside-edging a Willey delivery for four and surviving a difficult chance spilled by Taylor off Craig Overton running back to long off.

But he and fellow opener Devcich peppered the boundary boards and a straight six off spinner Stephen Parry took Rutherford to his fifty off 46 balls with six fours and a six.

There was just a glimmer of hope for the Lions when Devcich (49) and Brownlie (1) were dismissed in successive overs by Bopara and Parry respectively to leave New Zealand on 114-2.

But Rutherford found another able partner in Tom Latham in adding 80 for the third wicket in 12 overs.

Rutherford was eventually bowled for 94 off 84 balls with two sixes and 10 fours with only 26 needed.

Latham (48 not out) and Munro then joined forces and saw New Zealand home in 32.3 overs.