Over-excited Black Caps fail to produce

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 14:08 10/02/2013
Nathan McCullum
Photosport
BIG BLOW: Nathan McCullum grimaces after being hit for six by England's Jos Buttler in the opening T20 match at Eden Park.

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Coach Mike Hesson says his New Zealand team tried too hard and were over-excited as they suffered a meek tour-opening defeat to England.

The sides move to Hamilton today for Tuesday night's second Twenty20 in the three-match series after England stamped their authority with a 40-run win in game one at Eden Park, before a crowd of 23,758.

New Zealand lost the game in the early overs as England got off to a flyer en route to their highest T20 total of 214-7. The hosts dropped five catches and the bowlers offered too many free hits to the 65m straight boundaries, with England's batsmen clouting 15 sixes.

"The guys tried a bit hard. They were pretty excited about being home. We had a number of plans to stay away from the short boundaries and we clearly weren't able to execute those," Hesson said today.

"We were pretty clearly outplayed. We talk about the fundamentals, and the first 10 overs with the ball and in the field we were sloppy. The English played very well and got away from us. Chasing 215 is always going to be tough and everything's got to go your way and clearly it didn't. There's plenty to work on."

Hesson was at a loss about the catching display which was rare for a New Zealand side. England, in contrast, fielded brilliantly, with Eoin Morgan taking a slick running catch off a Brendon McCullum skier.

The returning Ross Taylor (twice), Mitchell McClenaghan, James Franklin and Ronnie Hira all shelled relatively comfortable chances, with McClenaghan appearing to be unsighted and barely laying a finger on his.

"Even the ones we did hold seemed to be reasonably difficult. I'm not sure if it was the transition of light or what, but we certainly struggled," Hesson said.

New Zealand were never in the run chase and ended 174-9, with McCullum (10) and Taylor (13) missing out and opener Martin Guptill (44 off 32 balls) topscoring.

England captain Stuart Broad was outstanding, taking 4-24 as he and fellow quicks Steve Finn and Jade Dernbach, and all-rounder Luke Wright bowled the right line and length for the odd-shaped ground and used deft changes of pace.

Hesson said injured all-rounders Ian Butler (ankle) and Grant Elliott (quadriceps) were both available for Tuesday's game after missing the Auckland match. Fellow all-rounder Jimmy Neesham would leave the squad after being summoned as cover.

And Hesson was adamant the fickle nature of T20 meant his side would approach Hamilton with confidence despite their deflating opener.

"Without doubt. T20 is one of those games if you start well the first two or three overs, you get some momentum and you're away."

Meanwhile the coach said his relationship with Taylor, who received a standing ovation when he walked out to bat, still needed work.

The pair had a clear the air meeting last week on Taylor's return to the squad in the wake of his axing as skipper. Last night's was his first international since November 29 and he clearly needed the run.

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"Work in progress is a good term. We're working well together. It's going to take a while before we're going out for coffee every week.

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- Fairfax Media

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