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Cook frustrated by batting effort

Alastair Cook conceded England’s collective batting failure was the catalyst for their five-wicket defeat against New Zealand.

Eight home batsmen reached double figures, yet Jonathan Trott top-scored with only 37 in an eventual total of 227 for nine.

It was telling that a victory target of 228 proved no obstacle for New Zealand despite James Anderson claiming two wickets in the first over of the reply.

Anderson was heroic in taking 3-31 but England – shorn of Stuart Broad and Steven Finn, who were rested due to niggles – never looked like defending a below-par score.

"I think we said after 20 overs 260 or 270 would be a par score on that wicket,” said Cook, pictured. "We pretty much got ourselves into a position to do that, at 120 for two.

"It's like a 'nothing' score, isn't it, 230?

"It was just one of those days when nobody stuck their hand up and took responsibility. But we will get better."

Broad and Finn will also miss the second NatWest Series one-day international before being assessed further, with the important matter of a home Champions Trophy just a week away.

When asked whether their absences were precautionary, Cook replied: "I think it's a little bit more than that.

“As I said at the beginning of the day, whether it was a cup final or not, it would have been touch and go.

"Obviously, they're key parts of our one-day team and experienced and world-class campaigners.

“It's not ideal, but it's another week away (to the Champions Trophy), and we've got a good medical team - so fingers crossed.”

In order to counter the losses of those two, England have called up Warwickshire's Boyd Rankin for the remainder of the rubber.

When explaining Rankin’s selection, Cook said: "You try to have as balanced a bowling attack as possible.

"James Harris did well when he came into the squad, and impressed everyone, but you'd have five bowlers of pretty much the same height and very similar skills.

"When you've got five bowlers, you want as much variety as you can in there. So when you lose two tall bowlers, you want to try to replace them with another tall bowler if you can.”

The Kiwis’ triumph, their third in as many ODIs at Lord’s, came thanks - in large part - to Martin Guptill’s 103 not out.

Guptill’s last 50-over appearance came at Hamilton against England, when he struck 27 not out to seal a win when effectively batting on one leg.

He subsequently missed the final two games of that series and lost his place in the five-day team as a result.

Guptill returned for the second Investec Test at Headingley last week without making an impression, his recent frustrations making today’s knock all the more gratifying.

“It was very special,” he said. “Getting a hundred for your country is always special no matter where it is, but especially at Lord’s.

“I was just happy to be there at the end and see it through, especially from where we were in the first over.”

He endured some nerves on 99 when, with five needed for victory, Tim Bresnan sent down four byes that narrowly missed the helmet next to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler; had the ball hit it, the subsequent penalty would have ushered the finish and left Guptill stranded.

“It was a little bit nerve-wracking,” he admitted. “It was not too far away from hitting the helmet for those byes and I was quite lucky in the end I guess.”

The only negative for New Zealand was Daniel Vettori not, as expected, returning from an Achilles injury that has sidelined him from international duty since September last year.

While skipper Brendon McCullum’s brother, Nathan, performed well in claiming 2-43, having world-class left-arm tweaker Vettori back could be crucial to New Zealand’s hopes of causing a splash in the Champions Trophy.

Dan was going to play today and then re-aggravated his injury – which we only found out this morning,” said Brendon McCullum.

“We are going to assess it. It’s a little bit early to make a call but we’re going to give it as long as we can to assess his involvement in this series. He is looking forward, as well, to the Champions Trophy.

“I am a little bit worried about it; you always are when 270-odd games has pulled up injured.

“But we have to work out what is best for Dan and the team over the next three and a half weeks.”

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