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England’s Ali expects tough World Cup test from New Zealand

February 17, 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — England opening batsman Moeen Ali does not expect things to get any easier for his team when it takes on New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup on Friday after a heavy first-up loss to Australia.

Ali said England had put behind them their 111-run loss to Australia but acknowledged the task will be just as tough against a New Zealand team he said is “on a par with Australia.”

Even beyond Friday’s match in Wellington, there is little respite for England which faces a motivated Scotland on Monday; a more difficult assignment than it might first have appeared after the Scots lost to New Zealand by only three wickets on Tuesday.

“The World Cup is not decided over one game, it’s a long period of time,” Ali said. “Australia set the standard with how good they are and New Zealand is going to be just as hard, we feel.

“That was probably the worst we’ve played in Australia, throughout the whole trip so far. It’s good to get that game out of the way now.”

Ali said New Zealand’s is “probably No. 1 in the world right now.”

England at least expects to find conditions in New Zealand a little more to its liking after struggling on fast, bouncy pitches in Australia.

“The wickets are flatter but in terms of cloud cover and all that kind of stuff, it’s a bit more like it is at home,” Ali said. “The batters and the bowlers probably feel it suits us a lot more.”

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