Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Young bloods help turn the tide in T20

Apart from Ross Taylor's match-changing slip catch of Eoin Morgan and 68 from Brendon McCullum, New Zealand were able to rely on three younger players to win the first T20 international match against England at the Oval.

Man-of-the-match Hamish Rutherford's 62 off 35 balls, Corey Anderson's successful death over where he "only" conceded 11 and Tom Latham's work with the gloves and bat helped secure a five-run win.

Rutherford was brutal dispatching boundaries between mid-wicket and backward square leg.

"At the start it didn't feel like a 200-run wicket," McCullum said. "Then Hamish played a few shots and that [confidence] permeated through the order."

According to McCullum, Latham took the gloves "because it was an opportunity for him in a pressure situation against a good team in front of a big crowd".

After missing a stumping off Alex Hales in the ninth over, he bounced back with the catch of key batsman Luke Wright on 52 off 34 balls. He continued by running out Jos Buttler with an underarm throw to the non-striker's end from a gloved right hand.

Earlier he made 22 off 17 balls.

Anderson did nothing to dispel the thought he might become a useful player under pressure. He conceded 11 runs from the final over (after being hit for six first ball) when England needed 16 to win.

"The only way to win the game was if we kept picking up wickets," said McCullum. "But 200 was always going to be a tough chase."

He acknowledged the significance of Taylor's catch to dismiss Morgan cheaply in the 14th over.

"I stressed we had to take wickets and if there was no slip the game would have petered out."

England stand-in captain Morgan felt his wicket and that of Wright were turning points. "I thought [201 for four] was probably about 10 short of a par score and we could've easily chased it if we hadn't lost those two wickets in the 14th and 15th overs."

Martin Guptill's hamstring will be assessed ahead of the second match tomorrow morning (NZT). James Franklin, dismissed for a golden duck is likely to get a second chance opening if Guptill fails a fitness test.

- NZ Herald

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