New Zealand and England met in a thrilling third ODI on Saturday which the tourists took to claim a 2-1 lead in the series and England can now go on and claim the full honours should they win the fourth game in Dunedin on Wednesday.
New Zealand head to Dunedin knowing that they have to win the match in order to force a decider later in the week so there will be plenty on the line in the match which actually begins late in the evening on Tuesday, UK time.
The Kiwis came close to moving ahead in the series themselves but they couldn’t quite get over the line despite Kane Williamson’s fantastic century. Ultimately they lost the match in the middle of their innings when they embarked on something of a collapse and if they are going to level the series they will need a much better batting effort.
In the main they went well with the ball in Wellington. They were all over England at the beginning of the innings and they never really let the tourists get away from them but then come the end of the proceedings there was the feeling England’s total might be enough and so it proved. New Zealand don’t need much more to get over the line though.
You have to give a lot of credit to England in this series. After dropping the first match they have picked up two wins and are now in a position to control and eventually end up dominating the series. To be fair to Eoin Morgan’s men they didn’t do much wrong in the match they lost so they are going very well.
Heading into the series I had a concern over whether the English bowling attack could restrict or defend totals on these smaller New Zealand grounds and while they couldn’t quite defend in the first match it will have given them plenty of confidence that they were able to restrict New Zealand in the latest match.
New Zealand have confirmed that Ross Taylor will be good to go in this match so he is expected to replace Mark Chapman. Lockie Ferguson could well come back in for Ish Sodhi if the Kiwis choose not to play two spinners.
There are no signs that England are going to make any changes even though Jonny Bairstow looks like a fish out of water in the opening spot. If they do make a chance Mark Wood may sit out as England manage his fitness.
This will be the ninth ODI on this ground and the second of the summer after New Zealand beat Pakistan here in January. That was the sixth time New Zealand have played 50 over cricket on this ground and they have won each and every time. England will compete here for the first time.
There haven’t been too many high scoring matches here with the wicket offering something for the bowlers and the day matches often creating swing and movement early in the piece. The seamers tend to fare better here than the spinners.
For the first time in the series I’m going to change my bet. Rather than take England to hit the most sixes I’m going to go for under 11.5 sixes. This is a fairly big ground so hitting sixes isn’t easy and we’ve seen throughout the series that neither of these attacks give sixes away easily. With the rain that has been around the wicket may play a little tacky so the ball might not come onto the bat as easily. All things being equal the sixes total is likely to be low here.
Mitchell Santner has scores of 45*, 63* and 41 in the series so far and has only been run out backing up at the non-strikers end so in what could be a lower scoring match he could be great value to top score at 22/1. He top scored in Mount Maunganui in the second match and only a Williamson century offered anything significant in the previous match. There’s enough value in the 22/1 for me to warrant a punt.
Back Under 11.5 sixes for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill
Back M.Santner Top New Zealand Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 23.00 with Betfair
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