Fleming leads Kiwis into final

New Zealand went into the final of the NatWest Series with a six-wicket win over England

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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New Zealand went into the final of the NatWest Series with a six-wicket win over England despite home all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's maiden one-day international hundred. New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming led from the front with 99 as the Black Caps, chasing 238, won with 16 balls to spare. Craig McMillan was three not out and Jacob Oram was 10 not out as New Zealand finished on 241 for four. Hamish Marshall, who had earlier dropped Flintoff on nought and England's Andrew Strauss who made 61 on one, atoned with 55 before he was run out by Paul Collingwood's direct hit as Fleming looked for the single to get him to three figures. New Zealand sped towards their victory with an opening stand of 122 between Fleming and Nathan Astle (53). Fleming a run short of his century, chipped medium-pacer Collingwood to Strauss at mid-wicket. He faced 126 balls with one six and 10 fours. Sajid Mahmood had a tough England debut, the 22-year-old’s seven overs cost 56 runs. For England this was the tenth time in a row they'd lost a one-day international when they'd batted first. However, they will qualify for the finals of this triangular event if they get a bonus point win against the West Indies at Lord's. Lancashire all-rounder Flintoff made 106, putting on 122 for the fourth wicket, with Middlesex captain Strauss after England declined to 57 for three. Astle was dropped on 52 by Harmison, but fell one run later when he was yorked by the Durham quick. After a 15-minute rain break Fleming on 88, was dropped by wicket-keeper Geraint Jones, standing up, off Collingwood. Next ball Fleming lofted the medium-pacer for six. (PTI)