New Zealand v England: Talking points as McCullum stars for hosts
New Zealand v England: Matt Cansick looks at the talking points as Stuart Broad's men suffer a 55-run defeat in Hamilton in the second T20
New Zealand hit back
The second Twenty20 international in Hamilton saw New Zealand bounce back from their disappointing performance in the opening match of the series, with the Black Caps winning by 55 runs. England captain Stuart Broad won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat, and for most of the innings, it looked as if his bowlers had justified his faith in them. Jade Dernbach’s return of 3-38 from his four overs was the pick of the bowling, and scores of 47 and 40 from Martin Guptill and Hamish Rutherford respectively did not look like being enough for the hosts. However three destructive overs at the death saw the Kiwis reach an imposing 192-6, and England faltered immediately in their reply. Reduced to 80-7, a rearguard action from Jos Buttler only managed to stave off the inevitable as they were bowled out for 137 from 19.3 overs. The series is now tied at 1-1, and it will be interesting to see if England can react in the same manner as New Zealand have to a comprehensive defeat.
Consistency still an issue for England
This was an opportunity missed for the tourists. Having won the first match in Auckland, Broad’s men would have sealed a series victory with a win. A lack of consistency has long been a problem for England’s one-day sides, although the notable exception that was the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 proved that they are capable of putting together a string of results. Had their bowlers not surrendered 46 runs from the final three overs, the outcome may have been different. But credit has to go to New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for the way he took the fight to them with his 74 from just 55 balls. Both James Franklin (4-15) and Ian Butler (2-9) returned good bowling figures, but much of England’s downfall was down to their own mistakes. The focus demonstrated in the opening match of the series will need to return for the final game if they are to avoid a 2-1 defeat having been 1-0 up.
Series comes down to decider
The final T20 in Wellington on Friday will decide who takes the honours in the opening series of the tour. Broad admitted that it was a mistake to put New Zealand in when he won the toss but, again, this may not have been an issue without McCullum’s intervention. The England captain will also be disappointed with his four expensive overs after an impressive performance in Auckland. Jos Buttler’s 54 from just 33 balls was the lone highlight in the England innings, and he has taken his chances in both the T20 and one-day sides. He cannot carry the side on his own however, as was demonstrated here, and the poor start made by the top order cannot happen again. The two matches have swung to extremes for both sides, but New Zealand may have stolen the momentum at the perfect time.