Recent Match Report – England vs New Zealand 2nd ODI 2023
England 226 for 7 (Livingstone 95*, Curran 42, Boult 3-37) beat New Zealand 147 (Mitchell 57, Topley 3-27, Willey 3-34) by 79 runs
Despite his patchy form this summer, Livingstone’s all-round ability and superb IPL record means there has never been any real doubt of his spot in England’s World Cup squad. With two contrasting half-centuries in three days, he has emphatically proved why. This was his longest innings in international cricket, and his highest in a win.
Much before that, Boult, playing international cricket for the first time since last year’s T20 World Cup, did the early damage for England. His New Zealand career has been on hold since late last year after he negotiated a release from his central contract in order to maximise his availability for franchise leagues around the world.
But New Zealand were always likely to welcome him back ahead of next month’s World Cup, and his new-ball spell demonstrated why. Boult struck with his seventh ball, as Jonny Bairstow’s leading edge spooned up towards cover where Mitchell Santner took a spectacular catch, nailing the timing of his leap. Joe Root lasted two balls, smashed on the knee roll by an inswinger, and Ben Stokes gave Boult the charge only to loft to mid-off.
In the absence of Jason Roy (back spasm) and Dawid Malan (paternity leave), Harry Brook was again given the opportunity to open the batting, but he fell immediately after a shortened powerplay. Brook looked to swing Matt Henry over the infield, but his leading edge looped up to the back-pedalling mid-off fielder.
When Livingstone walked out at No. 7 to join Moeen, England had more than 20 overs left to bat. The pair added 48 in 50 balls, starting watchfully before occasionally freeing their arms when New Zealand offered width. Moeen fell for 33 to a brilliant diving catch at point by Glenn Phillips, at which point Livingstone decided it was time to shift gears.
Livingstone targeted Southee, hitting 17 runs off an over – including three boundaries in four balls; by the time he brought up a 47-ball half-century, his second in three days, he had already played his longest innings for England. At the far end, Curran, playing his first game since the Hundred final, belted both left-arm spinners – Santner and Rachin Ravindra – for sixes.
The pair brought up a 100-run partnership at the end of the 32nd over when Livingstone swiped Henry’s slower ball into the stands for his first six. Curran fell shovelling Southee to short third, and after Mitchell trod on the boundary toblerone while attempting a catch off Willey at long-off, Livingstone could only heave the final two balls for a brace of twos.
Allen, who will not feature in the provisional World Cup squad that New Zealand name tomorrow, survived an lbw review off the first ball of the chase but was castled on the second by Willey, even as Gus Atkinson bowled a bright first spell to keep England ahead of the game. He had Devon Conway caught behind, before Will Young was lazily run-out as Willey pounced at mid-off.
Mitchell kept New Zealand ticking, adding 56 with Tom Latham, but Topley’s second spell changed the game. Latham chased a wide one before Phillips fell to a stunning caught-and-bowled, and Ravindra edged his second ball to slip. From 123 for 6, it was Mitchell or bust.
Having hoisted Moeen over long-off for six, Mitchell miscued a full toss to mid-off to give Moeen his 100th ODI wicket; he soon had his 101st too, as Santner sliced to point. Willey mopped up the tail to finish with three wickets of his own, to leave England basking in the early-evening sunshine.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
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