England Cruise to Easy Win over New Zealand in Opening T20I
England won their opening T20I against New Zealand

England beat New Zealand by seven wickets in their first T20I in Christchurch thanks to a solid batting effort from James Vince.

It was England, handing debuts to Lewis Gregory and Patrick Brown, who won the toss, and opted to bowl first, enjoying early success when Sam Curran bowled Martin Guptill in the third over. Colin Munro and Tim Seiffert put on 33, but Munro was the next man out, caught by the England captain Eoin Morgan off the bowling of Chris Jordan for 21, having struck 2 sixes.

Seiffert and Colin de Grandhomme then shared a partnership of 33 for the third wicket, but that was ended when the leg spinner Adil Rashid had de Grandhomme caught by James Vince for 19, having struck one six. Seiffert then shared a stand of 21 with Ross Taylor, but then Jordan struck again, having Seiffert caught by Jonny Bairstow for 32, with one six to his name.

Taylor and Daryl Mitchell looked to increase the scoring rate, but found it tough against tight disciplined England bowling. They put on 56 for the fifth wicket off 38 balls, but their partnership came to an end when Taylor, who had made 44, fell off the third ball of the last over, giving Brown a first international wicket, Bairstow supplying the catch. He had managed one six and three fours.

Mitchell, who struck 2 sixes, was undefeated on 30 at the end, and Mitchell Santner, who had just come to the crease, was 1 not out, as the New Zealand innings closed on 153 – 5.

In reply, Bairstow and Dawid Malan gave England a good platform with an opening stand of 37, and, although Malan was out for 11, caught by Ish Sodhi off Santner, Bairstow and Vince kept the score board ticking over, as they shared a stand of 31. Bairstow was the next wicket to fall, but Vince then combined with his skipper Morgan, and they added 54 for the third wicket.

Vince, top scoring with 59, including two sixes, became Santner’s third victim, caught by Guptill, but Morgan and Sam Billings helped their side cruise to victory, with an unbeaten partnership of 32, as England reached their target with nine balls to spare. Morgan, who had also hit one six, was 34 not out at the end, and Billings unbeaten on 14.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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