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England lion roars, as Black Caps suffer dropsies

Published: 6:55PM Saturday February 09, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

New Zealand were never on the pace in their run chase, falling 40 runs short in their opening Twenty20 clash with England at Auckland's Eden Park.

Pursuing 215 to win, the Black Caps were never on pace to reach their target, losing wickets at regular intervals to finish on 174-9. Opener Martin Guptill was the biggest contributor, with 44 off 32 balls, but while others made starts, none could stick around long enough to anchor the innings.

Colin Munro had 28 off 19 before he was bowled by England captain Stuart Broad, one of four wickets that fell for just eight runs as the match slipped from their grasp.

Ronnie Hira finished on 20 not out off 11 balls, while Broad continued his great form with the ball, capturing four wickets.

While their scoring total, for the loss of seven wickets, was a new record for England in international T20, the target could could have been even more daunting for the Kiwis.

At 172-3 in the 16th over, the tourists seemed to have plenty of firepower in hand on a small ground, but they lost 4-42 to erode their advantage somewhat over the final overs of their innings.

The top six batsmen all scored at better than a run a ball, with Luke Wright (42 off 20) and Jos Buttler (32 off 16) achieving two runs a ball. None reached their half century, but Eoin Morgan was the high scorer with 46.

Trent Boult, Hira and Andrew Ellis had two wickets apiece, but the NZ fielding left a lot to be desired. They dropped five catches, with former captain Ross Taylor grassing two, before finally taking Morgan off Hira's bowling.

Hamish Rutherford and Boult are both making their debuts tonight.  Grant Elliott and Ian Butler were not available for tonight's match due to injury, while James Neesham was not included in the playing XI.

England now lead the series 1-0 with the second of three T20 encounters scheduled for Hamilton on Tuesday.

New Zealand: 42-Brendon McCullum, 18-Trent Boult, 33-Andrew Ellis, 70-James Franklin, 31-Martin Guptill, 46-Roneel Hira, 81-Mitchell McClenaghan, 15-Nathan McCullum, 82-Colin Munro, 72-Hamish Rutherford, 3-Ross Taylor

England: 8-Stuart Broad, 35-Alex Hales, 45-Michael Lumb, 6-Luke Wright, 51-Jonny Bairstow, 16-Eoin Morgan, 63-Jos Buttler, 29-Samit Patel, 53-James Tredwell, 25-Steven Finn, 46-Jade Dernbach