Rejuvenated New Zealand eye semi-final berth

Inspired by their morale- boosting win over Sri Lanka, New Zealand face a do-or-die task of upstaging England's applecart in the Group B match.

updated: September 28, 2009 11:51 IST
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Inspired by their morale- boosting win over Sri Lanka, New Zealand face a do-or-die task of upstaging England's applecart in the Group B match of the Champions Trophy here on Tuesday.

After being trounced by South Africa in their first match, the Kiwis regrouped themselves and notched up a 38-run win over Sri Lanka to put their campaign back on track but their road to semis still looks difficult with England standing in their way.

If New Zealand pull off a win on Tuesday, they would be through to the semis but if they lose it will come down to the net run-rate and the Sri lankans are far ahead of the Kiwis in that aspect.

The Black Caps put up an imposing 315 against the Lankans on Sunday riding on their top-order's blistering form.

Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill were the architects of their big win against Sri Lanka and with Daniel Vettori firing down the order, the inconsistent Kiwi line-up suddenly seems formidable.

However, with Ryder ruled out of the squad due to a groin injury sustained on Sunday, New Zealand will have to sort out a new strategy.

Ryder's omission will mean green-horn Aaron Redmond may get a chance to make his ODI debut and he would look to grab the opportunity with both hands.

Among the pacers, Kyle Mills and Daryl Tuffey have done the job till now but their spearhead Shane Bond, who returned to the national fold after a stint with ICL, is yet to fire.

Vettori himself have kept a measured line to trouble the opponents with his spin and the skipper will hope for an encore on Tuesday.

On the other hand, England has been in formidable form, registering two wins from as many matches and the team seems to have put behind their 1-6 drubbing at the hands of Australia during their ODI home series.

Owais Shah, Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood have done the bulk of the scoring for England so far and skipper Andrew Strauss would want his team to carry the momentum.

However his own bat is yet to do the talking and Strauss will hope to come out all cylinders firing on Tuesday.

Among bowlers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad have led the England pace attack but spinner Graeme Swann will have to pull up his socks and put a much disciplined performance if they have to keep their slate clean going into the semis.

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Shane Bond, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Brendon Diamanti, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, James Franklin, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey.

England: Andrew Strauss (Captain), Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Adil Rashid, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom and Graeme Swann.

Match starts 6 pm IST.