Luke Wrigh, Stuart Broad lead England to T20 win over NZ
Luke Wright shone with bat and ball while captain Stuart Broad took four wickets as England eased to a 40-run victory over New Zealand in their first Twenty20 international in Auckland on Saturday.
All-rounder Wright's 20-ball innings of 42 included three fours and four sixes as England's power-packed batting line-up scored 214 for seven, their highest total in a T20 international.
"The freedom the guys played with the bat today set us up brilliantly," Broad said in a televised interview. "To go and set our record as an England batting line-up was fantastic.
"It was exciting to see the cleanness with which the guys were hitting it."
The 27-year-old Wright then put immense pressure on New Zealand's batsmen as he bowled several dot balls that forced the hosts to take risks, one of which resulted in Martin Guptill blasting a full delivery straight to Broad at mid-off for 44.
Guptill's wicket in the 13th over was a body blow for New Zealand as the right-hander had looked well set to be the batsmen the hosts could build their late-innings assault around.
Broad then chipped in with two wickets in the 15th over, removing James Franklin (eight) and Colin Munro (28) to ensure England's total was well out of reach.
The England skipper finished with 4-24, his best T20 international figures, while Wright took 2-29 and added a catch as New Zealand made 174-9 off their 20 overs.
"I think we learned a lot from batting on it first actually," Broad added of being asked to bat by New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
"We learned that we could bang it back of a length, take the pace off and get the guys hitting to the bigger boundaries.
"It was certainly a good toss to lose."
The short boundaries straight down the ground, which is primarily configured for rugby, were peppered with a total of 23 sixes dispatched into the stands.