Cricket: England destroy Black Caps

By Daniel Richardson

Joe Root of England celebrates dismissing Ross Taylor. Photo / Getty Images,
Joe Root of England celebrates dismissing Ross Taylor. Photo / Getty Images,

An England batting blitz has seen them claim the Twenty20 series from New Zealand with a 10-wicket win in the deciding game at Westpac Stadium in Wellington tonight.

The home side were always up against it after they lost the toss and were put in to bat on a ground where the chasing team had won the four previous Twenty20 internationals.

New Zealand could only muster 139-8 from their allotted overs as they struggled to get on top of the impressive English seamers who bowled with good pace and used their height to great advantage on a bouncy Westpac Stadium wicket.

English captain Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed 3-15 from four overs and never let New Zealand gain any momentum to their innings.

Black Caps opener Martin Guptill played the anchor role as he made a patient 59 from 55 balls but he looked out of touch as he mistimed numerous strokes throughout his knock.

A healthy crowd of 20,238 piled in to the Cake Tin for the game and many of them rose to their feet to welcome former skipper Ross Taylor to the crease but he failed to give them much to cheer about as he only made six.

Taylor was out trying to hammer another six after he got off the mark by clearing the rope and will hope for better with the one-day series about to get underway in Hamilton on Sunday.

New Zealand were guilty of not putting together a meaningful partnership during their innings and Guptill found little support although skipper Brendon McCullum did add 26.

When Guptill was dismissed from the bowling of Broad with seven balls left in the innings, New Zealand only had 128 on the board and you knew they would struggle from there.

Jade Dernbach then snagged two wickets in the final over to finish with 3-36 from four overs, while fellow seamer Steve Finn was unlucky to go wicket-less but was miserly as he only conceded 18 runs from his four overs.

When it was their opportunity to bowl, New Zealand needed early wickets to make inroads to England's power-hitting line-up but they did themselves no favours.

They failed to hit their lengths, while a dropped catch in the slips from Taylor didn't help and then McCullum shelled a sky-high chance from Alex Hales and only narrowly avoided colliding with Grant Elliott in the outfield in the process.

It was clearly Elliott's catch as he was coming towards the ball but McCullum demanded it and then couldn't hold on.

Hales needed no invitation to then take to the New Zealand bowling attack and he brought up a blistering half century and eventually finished unbeaten on 80.

The opener took 23 from a Mitchell McClenaghan over - the 11th of the innings - which all but sealed the dominant victory with plenty of time to spare.

The fans had seen enough by the start of the 13th over and made their way to the exits as Hales' opening partner Michael Lumb (53 not out) completed the victory in a canter with 44 balls to spare with a six on to the roof of the Cake Tin.

The teams now travel up north to Hamilton to begin a three-match one-day series on Sunday with the second 50-over affair to be contested in Napier on Wednesday before the series wraps up in Auckland on Saturday.

- APNZ

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