England hit record score to beat New Zealand in Twenty20 opener
|First Twenty20 international, Auckland:|
|England 214-7 (20 overs) beat New Zealand 174-9 (20 overs) by 40 runs|
England hit 15 sixes and beat their record Twenty20 score as they crushed New Zealand by 40 runs in the first Twenty20 international in Auckland.
England capitalised on short boundaries at Eden Park, with Eoin Morgan striking 46 from 26 balls, Luke Wright 42 from 20 and Jonny Bairstow 38 from 22.
Jos Buttler added 32 from 16 to see England to 214-7 and beat their 202-6 against South Africa in 2009.
Captain Stuart Broad took 4-24 as New Zealand finished on 174-9.
England, having been put in to bat in the first of three internationals, looked on course for a big total from the start.
New Zealand dropped five catches, with former captain Ross Taylor missing two chances on his return to the team, as the hosts struggled to defend the small boundaries.
Alex Hales launched the first six of the innings high over deep midwicket in the second over and when he was stumped off Ronnie Hira for 21, Wright quickly found his range as England hit 21 runs off the spinner's second over.
Michael Lumb had made only three - albeit from just six balls faced - in England's first 50 runs, but he joined in with a swept four and straight six off Hira.
Taylor, back for his first international match since being relieved of the New Zealand captaincy and then sitting out the tour of South Africa, dropped Wright at cover off Nathan McCullum and then let Lumb off when he skied Andrew Ellis to deep midwicket.
Wright, who fired four sixes in a belligerent innings, was caught deep on the offside off Ellis before Lumb, on 22, miscued an attempted hook to short fine-leg.
But New Zealand's mistakes in the field continued to cost them. Hira dropped Bairstow on 22, but the most glaring miss was by Mitchell McClenaghan who appeared not to see the ball properly at short third-man when he put down Morgan on 33 off McCullum.
Morgan, having cleared the ropes three times, miscued Hira to give Taylor an unmissable opportunity and Bairstow, who blasted two sixes, found Martin Guptill at long-on off Boult.
But Buttler ensured England surged past 200 with some impressive blows.
New Zealand lost debutant Hamish Rutherford, son of former Test batsman Ken, to Broad and then their own skipper Brendon McCullum to a superb back-pedalling catch from Morgan off Finn for 10.
Taylor received a warm welcome when he came out to bat but his innings was brief and he was out for 13.
Guptill played with aggression, making 44 from 32, but England, with Broad and Steven Finn (3-39) finding extra bounce, took regular wickets to keep the hosts in check and secure an emphatic victory.
The England skipper, who has expressed concerns about a heel injury, finished with 4-24, his best T20 international figures, while Wright took 2-29 and added a catch.