New Zealand v England Twenty20: England smash 15 sixes in Auckland triumph
A record total helped England to a 40-run victory in their first Twenty20 against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland.
Last Updated: 10/02/13 12:05am
Stuart Broad's side took advantage of the shortened boundaries at Eden Park to smash their best international T20I score of 214-7, with Eoin Morgan (46) and Luke Wright (42) the stars of the innings.
England bowled much better though, and only Martin Guptill (44) could really get going as Broad (4-24) took career-best figures to restrict the hosts to 174-9 from their 20 overs.
It meant England took the early advantage in the three-match series by moving into a 1-0 lead.
At a ground with little more than a 60-yard carry at either end, England targeted the straight boundaries in particular but thrashed plenty of other maximums to all parts.
They cleared the ropes 15 times - four more than they ever have before - and easily surpassed their previous highest Twenty20 score of 202-6.
Wright topped the sixes charts with four, and Morgan came closest to a half-century with 46 in an innings which saw everyone bar number seven Samit Patel achieve better than a run-a-ball.
The Black Caps started well in their response and will have fancied their chances of a successful run chase given the short dimensions of the field, making it to 31 before Broad got the first breakthrough.
Brendon McCullum looked full of intent with two fours in his first four balls faced, but his fifth delivery faced was skied high into the Auckland night and Morgan claimed a wonderful catch with the ball dropping over his shoulder on the run.
Steven Finn (3-39) took that wicket and followed it with the prized scalp of Ross Taylor with Jonny Bairstow taking a smart catch as Taylor aimed a swipe at the mid-wicket boundary.
The impressive Wright eventually snared Guptill out for 44, caught by Broad, who then bowled Colin Munro for 28 as New Zealand's chances slipped away as Finn claimed a third wicket and Broad completed his four-wicket haul.
Earlier, Alex Hales had announced England's intent after being put into bat by smashing their first six high over deep mid-wicket off Trent Boult in the second over.
Hales was stumped off Ronnie Hira's left-arm spin, but Wright upped the pace and a second over from Hira cost 21 runs.
Michael Lumb had scored only three, from just six balls faced, in England's first 50 runs. But he joined in with a swept four and straight six off Hira.
Wright was then caught in the leg-side deep off Andrew Ellis and then Lumb miscued an attempted hook at Mitchell McClenaghan to short fine-leg.
New Zealand were not helping themselves in the field, though, as Hira dropped Bairstow on 22, but the most obvious chance fell to McClenaghan who appeared not to sight one properly at short third-man when he put down Morgan on 33.
The combined cost for the Kiwis' third and fourth drops was 29 runs, Morgan miscuing Hira into the off-side to give Taylor an unmissable opportunity and Bairstow unable to clear Guptill at long-on off Boult.
Jos Buttler nonetheless ensured England surged past 200 and beyond with a stunning unbeaten knock of 32 off only 16 balls.