Vaughan to play against New Zealand
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter

Player:MP Vaughan, EC Joyce, MB Loye, J Lewis, SP Fleming, SE Bond
Event:Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07

DateLine: 6th February 2007


England skipper Michael Vaughan has declared himself available for Tuesday's crucial triangular series one-day international with New Zealand in Brisbane. The winner of the match will play Australia in the tri-series finals and Vaughan's availability is another boost to an England side rejuvenated by Friday's shock win over the host nation. Vaughan, on the comeback trail after a long layoff following knee surgery, has missed England's past five matches after straining his hamstring earlier in the series. "I got through everything, batting in the nets and fielding okay so I will be available," Vaughan said here on Monday. "We have tested it really well over the last four or five days and I have done all that was required, so that is pleasing." Vaughan said the confidence of the English was high after Friday's win - their first against Australia on the entire tour. The 32-year-old said it was important they maintained that much-improved form, adding that the game was a virtual semi-final. "You get a lot of confidence from winning games of cricket, especially against the No. 1 team in the world," Vaughan said. "There's no point in producing a performance to get us back into the competition on Friday and letting it slip on Tuesday. It will be a real test of how far we have come with that victory because it is a pressure game, a semi-final to get into the finals." Vaughan is set to partner the in-form Ed Joyce at the top of the order, with Mal Loye expected to drop out. Seamer Jon Lewis, who was in good form before an ankle injury, could also return to further strengthen the England side. New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said there was no doubt the English were a more confident unit after their latest win, but said his side were ready for the challenge. "They'll be buoyant after that and up for Tuesday," Fleming said in Melbourne on Sunday. "We're pretty confident playing against them as well. It's a semi-final-type scenario where one slip-up you're on your way home, which we don't want to do." Fleming dismissed suggestions the confidence of his own side would have been dented by a third successive narrow loss to the Australians on Sunday. He said they simply had to keep doing the things that were working well against Australia. "We've had three of these come down to the last over or all but the last over," he said. "We've bounced back pretty well. We've had to do it in the last three games. We've got to play well, and we've got to respect the little things that got us into a position to compete here (Melbourne)." With a berth in the finals up for grabs, the Kiwis are reconsidering their plan to rest injury-plagued speedster Shane Bond in Tuesday's game.