England outclassed by Black Caps
Who were those guys in black in Hamilton last night?
The Black Caps were almost unrecognisable from the nervy, stuttering outfit that perished in Auckland in the series opener last Saturday as they hammered England by 55 runs in the second Twenty20 international at Seddon Park.
They showed true intent during their batting and then the pace and swing trio of Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult and Ian Butler bowled straight, full and pinned England back from the outset.
Bar a couple of fielding blunders, and a defiant 54 off 30 balls from Jos Buttler, the hosts were dominant throughout to set up a decider in Wellington on Friday.
Left-arm quick McClenaghan (2-24) took two wickets in as many balls in the second over of England's pursuit of victory and the visitors never recovered, with Butler producing an inspired four-over spell of 2-9.
Earlier, captain Brendon McCullum overcame his shaky start to build on a solid platform provided by openers Martin Guptill and Hamish Rutherford.
He struck five sixes and six fours in his 38-ball knock of 74 as New Zealand reached 192-6.
England captain Stuart Broad won the toss and elected to have a bowl at the hosts after slaying New Zealand in the opening international when the visitors batted first.
As is becoming the norm in T20s, England opted to open the bowling with an offspinner in James Tredwell but quickly took a fancy to him, lofting him straight for the night's first six.
Broad replaced him for the third over with lanky paceman Steven Finn but New Zealand continued to prosper, going hard at the bowling while running aggressively between the wickets to bring up their 50 partnership in the sixth over.
The visitors ran through six bowlers in eight overs with the introduction of Samit Patel, the left-arm spinner, but it wasn't until the ninth over that England made the breakthrough when Rutherford played tentatively for the first time at Luke Wright and was caught behind for 40 off 27 balls, featuring three sixes.
His opening partner Guptill fell three overs later for 47, compiled off 31 balls with four fours and two sixes, bringing former skipper Ross Taylor to the crease to applause from his hometown crowd.
His trademark cow-corner swipe failed him but the current skipper, while not wholly convincing, continued to take the attack to the tourists with success.
McCullum played and missed and came perilously close to losing his wicket but also cracked some punishing blows. He struck three sixes in the penultimate over off his counterpart Broad as New Zealand took 22 off the over and another 16 off the last, which saw McCullum depart with one ball remaining.
The two teams will return to Hamilton on Sunday for the first of three one-day internationals.