Cricket: 'Sloppy' NZ keen to make amends

By David Leggat

England fielders show how catches win matches but Hesson's men can atone for shortcomings in Hamilton.

Luke Wright called it "an unbelievable catch"; it was certainly the moment which encapsulated the gulf New Zealand must close in Hamilton when they face England in the second T20 tomorrow night.

When Brendon McCullum's shot slewed off his bat high to backward point in the fifth over of their chase for 215, Eoin Morgan scampered back, his eyes never left the ball and he pulled off a terrific catch over his shoulder.

England held everything; New Zealand butterfingers spilled five chances, albeit two difficult ones, balanced by two bad misses and one in between.

"We were sloppy," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said of the fielding, usually the one banker in New Zealand's hot-and-cold cricket skill set. That said, he has no doubt the gulf between the teams in England's 40-run win to start the ANZ international series can be rectified in the short turnaround.

"The guys play enough T20 to realise you can't dwell too much on what happened.

We would have liked to start with a win and a better performance. Tuesday becomes our focus pretty quickly."

New Zealand's bowlers failed to get their lengths right and Eden Park is unforgiving - as Seddon Park will be - if they fluff their lines.

England had talked about the importance of out-fielding New Zealand. Morgan's catch put extra pep in England's step. They recognised how significant it was, considering McCullum's destructive capabilities in the shortest game.

"If that goes down, who knows what could have happened. It was a massive moment in the game," allrounder Wright said.

England outplayed New Zealand in the fundamentals, made a flying start and New Zealand weren't good enough to peg their batsmen back en route to the country's highest T20 total, 214 for seven.

There are small margins between getting out of a game with tidy figures or taking a bath in T20 but New Zealand's bowlers misfired too often at Eden Park.

Wright acknowledged that if a couple of players are "on", games can swing in a jiffy. "We've got to back it up again and be at our best on Tuesday," he said.

"New Zealand will come back stronger, they'll plan again so we have to be that little bit better."

Seamer Ian Butler and batsman Grant Elliott return to the New Zealand 13 after minor injuries ruled them out at Eden Park. Jimmy Neesham drops out of the New Zealand squad.

• Former New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen has been appointed Bangladesh's head coach until the end of this year.

- NZ Herald

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