Black Caps edge England in first Twenty20
New Zealand have won a thrilling opening match of their T20 series with England, by five runs in the final over.
After setting their hosts 202 to win, New Zealand held on in a nervy final over bowled by Corey Anderson.
England needed 16 to win and when Christchurch-born Ben Stokes launched the first ball over mid-wicket for six, the home side looked likely to get up.
But Anderson then bowled a dot ball then the English could only score singles from the final four deliveries.
Two half century partnerships for the first and second wickets between Michael Lumb (29) and Alex Hales (39) and then Hales and Luke Wright (52) put the English in the box seat, but their wickets and that of captain Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler proved crucial.
Morgan was brilliantly caught by Ross Taylor at first slip in the 14th over then Buttler was run out at the bowlers end from a direct hit by wicketkeeper Tom Latham.
But with Ravi Bopara and the big hitting Stokes at the crease, England were still a chance until Anderson put the squeeze on in the final over.
Earlier, New Zealand made a poor start after being sent in.
James Franklin edged his first ball through to Buttler and the Kiwis were 1-1.
Hamish Rutherford and Brendon McCullum then added 114 for the second wicket in quick time.
Rutherford reached his first limited overs half century for New Zealand off just 28 balls before he eventually holed out to Wright for 62.
McCullum, who'd played second fiddle to Rutherford, then opened up and reached his 11th T20 international half century.
Once he was bowled by Wright for 68 from 41 balls, Taylor and Latham helped the Kiwis reach 200.
Taylor ended unbeaten on 32 from 19 while Latham was out in the last over for 22 from 17.
The two sides meet again on Friday (NZ time).
England v New Zealand, Kennington Oval, London
H Rutherford c Hales b Wright 62
J Franklin c Buttler b Rankin 0
B McCullum b Wright 68
R Taylor not out 32
T Latham c Bopara b Dernbach 22
C Munro not out 0
Extras (6lb, 11w): 17
Total (for 4 wickets, 20.0 overs) 201
Fall of wickets: 1, 115, 161, 200
Bowling: B Rankin 4-0-24-1, C Woakes 1-0-19-0, J Dernbach 4-0-31-1 , B Stokes 3-0-26-0, J Tredwell 2-0-32-0, R Bopara 2-0-32-0, L Wright 4-0-31-2.
M Lumb b McCullum 29
A Hales c Franklin b Hira 39
L Wright c Latham b McClenaghan 52
E Morgan c Taylor b Butler 7
R Boapara not out 30
J Buttler run out 17
B Stokes not out 9
Extras (8lb, 4w, 1nb): 17
Total (for 5 wickets, 20.0 overs) 196
Fall of wickets: 50, 105, 134, 139, 184
Bowling: M McClenaghan 4-0-37-1, I Butler 4-0-35-1, N McCullum 3-0-37-1, R Hira 4-0-34-1, C Anderson 4-0-40-0, J Franklin 1-0-5-0
- © Fairfax NZ News
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