Stuart Broad's career-best figures of 4-24 helped England rout hosts New Zealand in the first T20 International at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
England posted their highest ever Twenty20 score of 214 for seven as all-rounder Luke Wright and captain Stuart Broad led them to a comprehensive 40-run win over New Zealand here Saturday.
In reply, New Zealand were struggling at 174 for nine at the end of their innings.
England's batting master-class saw them take advantage of the short Eden Park boundaries as they easily surpassed their previous best total of 202 scored against South Africa in 2009.
The runfest also produced 15 sixes, the third best on record behind the 17 South Africa scored against England in 2009 and the 16 belted by Australia against India a year later.
The England onslaught was assisted by sloppy New Zealand fielding with six catches spilled including two by Ross Taylor back in the side for the first time after pulling out of the recent South African tour when stripped of the captaincy.
After being sent into bat first, Alex Hales led the initial charge racing to 21 before he was stumped by Brendon McCullum off Ronnie Hira and England lost their first wicket at 29 in the fourth over.
Hira later had the satisfaction of claiming the first successful catch in the New Zealand field to dismiss Wright whose 42 consisted of four sixes and three fours and came from just 20 deliveries.
Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow plundered the New Zealand bowling at will as they produced an 81-run partnership in 43 balls for the fourth wicket with Morgan's 46 including three sixes and four fours.
His dismissal allowed New Zealand to fight back in the closing stages of the innings as they conceded only 28 runs from the final 25 deliveries.
Faced with a daunting target of nearly 11 an over, the New Zealand batsmen made a positive start before their chase began to crumble.
After five overs they were up with the run rate but where Wright and Lumb mounted a 21-run onslaught in England's sixth over, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor only managed eight for New Zealand.
Guptill top scored with 44 before he gave his wicket away when he gifted a catch to Broad at mid wicket off Wright's bowling.
Broad, the most successful of the England bowlers, finished with four for 24 from his four overs while Wright took two for 29.
The second match in the series is in Hamilton on Tuesday.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ENGLAND: 214 for 7 in 20 overs (Morgan 46, Wright 42, Bairstow 38, Buttler 32 not out; Boult 2-40, Ellis 2-40, Hira 2-42)
NEW ZEALAND: 174 for 9 in 20 overs (Guptill 44, Munro 28, Hira 20 not out, Rutherford 18; Broad 4-24, Finn 3-39, Wright 2-29)
Result: England won by 40 runs.
Second T20I: Hamilton, February 12.