Injuries a strain for Black Caps after win

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 09:23 18/02/2013

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New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is gutted for Mitchell McClenaghan who's bowled his last delivery of the England series, but he hopes Martin Guptill can recover in time for the first test against England on March 6.

Joy at New Zealand's three-wicket victory in the first ODI against England in Hamilton last night was tempered by injuries to McClenaghan and Guptill, although the latter braved a strained left hamstring to hit a remarkable 27 not out on one leg, and guide home the chase for 259 at Seddon Park.

Left-armer McClenaghan suffered a side strain with two deliveries left in his allotted 10 overs and left the field with figures of 4-56.

It gave McClenaghan 10 wickets from his first four ODIs. But New Zealand Cricket confirmed he won't play the remaining ODIs in Napier on Wednesday and Auckland on Saturday, with an MRI scan today determining the extent of his injury which was thought to be season-ending.

"I am gutted because he's been a revelation for us this year," McCullum said.

"He's done an amazing job and allowed us to attack in areas where we haven't had that luxury in recent times. It's incredibly disappointing for him."

Left-armer Trent Boult, who wasn't required yesterday, will replace McClenaghan in Napier, McCullum said.

Tim Southee and Hamish Rutherford have been called into the Black Caps squad for the second ODI as cover for McClenaghan and Guptill. 

There may also be a need to bolster the pace bowling stocks and Ian Butler is a ready-made addition to the squad given his successful comeback in last week's T20 in Hamilton.

"I'd imagine Trent Boult will come in, he's of similar ilk," McCullum said.

"We've just got to use him in a similar way. He touches 140kmh in test cricket and hopefully he can do so in one-day cricket."

McCullum, batting at No 6, played a crucial hand in New Zealand's win, 69 not out off 61 balls. When a pained Guptill limped to the crease at the fall of the seventh wicket, New Zealand needed 41 off 25 balls and the pair saw home the chase with a comfortable seven balls to spare.

Guptill swung hard and blasted 24 off 10 on his return.

"What he did tonight really showed some fighting qualities and he's obviously delighted that he was able to come out injured and still play an influential innings," McCullum said.

Guptill will also have scans today and was last night ruled out of Wednesday's match only. But he's almost certain to miss Saturday's finale too.

McCullum said Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham were two contenders to replace him, and the captain would remain in the middle order.

The race will start to get Guptill fit for the first of three tests, in Dunedin starting on March 6.

"That would be the realistic target," McCullum said.

"I'd imagine the priority would be to get him back fit and ready for that test match. Hopefully he'd be OK for that."

England captain Alistair Cook, one of five test frontliners playing their first matches of the tour, said his team were rusty and should have got 280-290 with the bat.

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"We got ourselves into a position to win that, but credit to New Zealand - they got themselves over the line and we couldn't put pressure on them to do that," Cook said.

"You always are a little bit rusty when you haven't had a practice match or a session as a side. It's more match-hardness that we were missing."

The new ODI rules which permit a maximum of four fielders outside the inner circle at any time was difficult to adjust to, Cook said.

"It's very different. You can't just defend one side of the field and there's always an attacking option for the batter.

"It is tough and both sides find when there's set batters in and going well it's very hard to stop."

Fast bowler James Anderson took 1-30 and moved ahead of Ian Botham to 529 wickets in all formats, a record for England.

- Stuff

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