England endured another one-day beating at the hands of New Zealand, losing the second match of the series by 10 wickets at Seddon Park.
After being woeful in Wellington last Saturday the tourists were humiliated in Hamilton, turning in a dreadful display with both bat and ball to leave them in a deep hole with three games to play.
They did manage to surpass their score in the first match, though only just, being bowled out for 158 after being 89-2 before a lengthy stoppage for rain shortened the match to 36 overs-per-side.
Alastair Cook top-scored with 53 before becoming one of three run-outs as England failed to learn the lessons from Saturday’s poor show at the Westpac Stadium.
The Kiwis had no problem chasing a Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 165, opening duo Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder belting the ball to all parts as they got home inside 19 overs.
England did themselves no favours by dropping both batsmen before they had got started, wicketkeeper Phil Mustard and slip Owais Shah the culprits.
What ensued afterwards was complete carnage, every bowler coming in for punishment as New Zealand rushed to their first ever 10-wicket success over their opponents.
McCullum, dropped by Mustard without a run to his name, was particularly savage on anything short as he smashed eight fours and five sixes in a whirlwind 80 that came off just 47 balls.
Partner Ryder was hardly struggling at the other end, treating the capacity crowd to the biggest six of the day when he whacked a Paul Collingwood slower ball over square leg and out of the ground.
The burly left-hander finished unbeaten on 79 after being dropped twice, both times off Sidebottom with the bowler himself making a hash of a simple caught-and-bowled chance late on that summed up England’s day.
It had all looked so good for them before the heavens opened – after they had been put into bat by home skipper Daniel Vettori.
Cook certainly shone ahead of the rain, while opening partner Mustard briefly showed his capabilities with the bat by hooking Chris Martin for six before drilling the very next ball he faced to Vettori at mid-off.
If the New Zealand captain’s low catch was impressive then McCullum’s effort straight after was spectacular, the wicketkeeper leaping high to his right to hang on one-handed to an edge off Ian Bell.
It would not be the last time England lost two wickets in as many balls, though the first occasion did not stall their progress too much.
Kevin Pietersen – looking far more at home on a pitch with good pace and carry – quickly got into his stride, hitting Martin for 14 in the space of three deliveries.
However, a break of more than two hours for rain not only delighted the local farmers – who are having to deal with the worst drought in Hamilton for a decade – but also the home side, as they picked up the last eight England wickets for just 68 runs.
Some awful running between the wickets helped the Kiwis’ cause, skipper Collingwood setting a bad example when he foolishly took on Jacob Oram’s arm trying for two just one ball after Pietersen had been trapped lbw by Michael Mason for 29.
Cook was also caught short of his ground by a sharp throw from Ross Taylor, though he at least could blame Essex team-mate Ravi Bopara for calling him through for a suicidal single.
Sidebottom became the third run-out victim before the innings ended when Stuart Broad was caught off the first ball of the last over for 23.
For the second successive time they failed to bat through to the end, and the equally poor bowling display means a radical rethink is likely for the third game in Auckland on Friday.
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