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England wins toss, bats in World Cup match vs. New Zealand

STEVE McMORRANFebruary 20, 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — England won the toss and elected to bat Friday in a Cricket World Cup Pool A match against New Zealand at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

Both teams named unchanged lineups for the match, but under vastly differing circumstances.

New Zealand named the XI that won its first two Pool A matches, beating Sri Lanka by 98 runs and Scotland by three wickets, while England retained the team that lost to Australia by 111-runs in Melbourne last Saturday.

New Zealand’s decision to name its lineup on the eve of the match appeared to be a declaration of self-confidence while England’s announcement, delayed until matchday, pointed to some uncertainty around its selection.

England may have considered playing Chris Jordan instead of Chris Woakes and may also have reviewed Gary Ballance’s place at No. 3 in the batting order.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum expected England to provide New Zealand’s sternest test of the World Cup so far, but if it can win for the third time in seven days, it goes into the second week of the tournament in a powerful position.

A second-straight loss for England would be a major setback and would likely weaken confidence in its Cup prospects.

“I think they have a good bowling attack,” McCullum said. “They have a bit of pace and they get some bounce with (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson.”

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Lineups:

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (captain), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

England: Ian Bell, Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance, James Taylor, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steve Finn.

Umpires: Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker, Australia.

TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford, Australia. Match referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.

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