England drop Malan as rain delays New Zealand T20 decider

Auckland (AFP) –


England dropped century-maker Dawid Malan Sunday as rain delayed the start of the series-deciding fifth Twenty20 international against New Zealand at Eden Park.

The weather cleared for the toss to be taken 30 minutes late, which England captain Eoin Morgan won before revealing Malan had been replaced by James Vince in a pre-arranged player rotation.

England opted to bowl but as the players were about to take the field the rain returned and the covers were put back on.

Under the series rules, a minimum of five overs are required per side to qualify as a completed game.

England levelled the series 2-2 with a record-breaking innings by Malan in the fourth match on Friday in Napier. His 48-ball century was the fastest by an Englishman in Twenty20 cricket and laid the platform for a 76-run victory.

England made two other changes with Saqib Mahmood and Adil Rashid returning in place of Pat Brown and Matt Parkinson.

Jimmy Neesham and Scott Kuggeleijn replace Daryl Mitchell and Blair Tickner for New Zealand.

New Zealand: Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee (capt), Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult

England: Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, James Vince, Eoin Morgan (capt), Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Lewis Gregory, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL) and Wayne Knights (NZL)

TV Umpire: Chris Brown (NZL)

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)