Unexpected showers played spoilsport at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday as New Zealand beat England by nine runs in a shortened game that was determined by the Duckworth-Lewis method.
The Kiwis were 52 for 1 in 5.2 overs -- while chasing a target of 173 -- when it started pouring. Their openers Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson shared a 29-run stand before the former was caught at midwicket in the fourth over.
At 31 for 1 in four overs, they required 10 runs to get past the D-L par score. With the grumbling sounds of thunder surrounding the stadium, Brendon McCullum probably had the equation on mind when he came into bat and smacked Stuart Broad for two sixes and a four to get past the target in style.
Earlier, a combined effort from England's batsmen led them to a good looking 172 for 6 after being put in to bat. England did not have the best of starts as opener Alex Hales was dismissed on only the third ball of the day courtesy of a brilliant one-handed diving catch from Corey Anderson at mid-off.
However, a 72-run stand in 7.2 overs for the second wicket between Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali, revived them. Ali, who played in the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League here, smacked six fours and a six in his 23-ball 36. His partner Lumb, supported him with a 24-ball 33.
However, the stand ended in the eighth over, when they were both sent back in a span of five balls and England were reduced to 76 for 3. They slipped further after Tim Southee got Eoin Morgan caught at mid-off in the 13th over. However, Jos Buttler scored a timely 32 to take England past the 120-mark in 16 overs.
Ravi Bopara, who was the highest run-scorer in the Dhaka Premier League last season, came in at number seven and along with Tim Bresnan put in the last boost for England.
Bopara hit two sixes in his 24, while Bresnan scored 17 off just eight balls.