|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||MP Vaughan, PD Collingwood, AJ Strauss|
|Event:||Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07|
DateLine: 7th February 2007
England captain Michael Vaughan paid tribute to his side's fighting spirit after they battled their way into the Commonwealth Bank Series final with a 14-run victory over New Zealand in Brisbane. England's chances were written off last week when they needed to win their last two games to secure a place in the tri-series final. But they beat Australia for the first time in 10 attempts in Sydney on Friday and followed that up with a comeback victory over the Kiwis, who at one stage in their reply to England's 270 for 7 looked to be cruising to victory. "Full credit to the whole team for the way that we've responded in the past week," Vaughan told Sky Sports. "No one gave us any hope of reaching the final five days ago but to beat Australia in Sydney gave us a real confidence boost and we have just beaten a real strong New Zealand side here in Brisbane." Vaughan admitted England's display had not been totally convincing, but pointed to their spirit as the key to victory. "The way we played today was patchy. We batted reasonably well. We got off to an average start but then the Collingwood/Strauss partnership was crucial to give us that base to explode at the end. We didn't come out and hit them very hard with the new ball, we were a bit erratic but we have got a bit of fighting spirit and a bit of momentum going and we never felt we were going to lose that game in the middle period when we got a couple of wickets. At 60 for none after seven overs a lot of people would have said we have blown our chance but we kept fighting, kept picking up wickets and the boys kept their nerve which is crucial in one-day cricket. This is a real important win for us. A week in cricket is a long time, as we've just shown." Vaughan is still struggling with a hamstring injury and admitted he is a doubt for Friday's first final match against Australia in Melbourne. "It is a little bit touch and go but I will have to work with Dean (Conway, England's physio) over the next couple of days and hopefully I will be fine for Friday," he added.
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