Record opening stand seals series win for England
New Zealand 139-8 England 143-0 (England win by 10 wickets)
Saturday 16 February 2013
A record opening stand by Alex Hales and Michael Lumb exemplified a series-clinching win which captain Stuart Broad described as the most "powerful" he has seen from an England Twenty20 team.
Hales (80no) and Lumb (53no) hit nine sixes between them as England made a nonsense of New Zealand's 139 for 8, overhauling their target with more than seven overs – and 10 wickets, of course – to spare here in Wellington.
The Nottinghamshire pair, surplus to requirements for the one-day international series which begins in Hamilton on Monday, signed off in spectacular style.
Their unstoppable hitting resulted in England's highest opening partnership in the sprint format, and the second-best for any wicket.
England, however, should have felt confident of completing a 2-1 series victory even before they went into bat, for Broad himself had led from the front after putting the home team in, spearheading a highly impressive session from the England bowlers in which he took 3 for 15. Only the Kiwi opener Martin Guptill (59) provided any resistance, though even his tally of one six and two fours paled in comparison to Hales and Lumb.
Broad was therefore able to reflect with satisfaction after England had done almost everything right.
"All round, it was probably the most powerful performance I've seen from an England [Twenty20]‑ side really," he said. "The result, and the way we adapted to the conditions with the ball was brilliant. The fielding was strong as well, catches being held. It was a pretty perfect performance really."
As for Hales and Lumb, Broad added: "We know early wickets 'kill' you in Twenty20, so it was great to see the guys take their time and get used to the wicket for two or three overs... then once Alex Hales got going, it looked hard to stop him. Some of the sixes were huge. Lumby's almost went out of the ground to finish the game."
It was all too much for New Zealand, whose captain, Brendon McCullum, said: "We were blown off the park tonight. [Our] batting, bowling and fielding was nowhere near the standards they need to be – and England were ruthless, and thoroughly deserved the series victory.
"There was some excellent hitting. We served them up... and I thought we bowled too straight; we weren't able to get any swing whatsoever.
"We were just poor across the board, and they were excellent across the board; hence the gulf between the two teams."
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