Michael Lumb insisted there were positives to take from England's warm-up defeat
Last Updated: 06/02/13 5:14pm
Michael Lumb insisted there were positives for England to take despite losing their final warm-up match against a New Zealand XI at the Cobham Oval on Wednesday.
The tourists fell to a three-wicket defeat in the Twenty20 contest as the home side reached their victory target of 171 off the final ball of their innings, Tom Latham doing much to set up the win with a career-best 64.
But Lumb refused to be too disappointed by the loss, claiming there were useful lessons to be learnt and encouraging individual performances to reflect on.
"I wouldn't say we lost it," said the opener, who himself made a solid 45. "The nature of this game is guys can play well, and I thought they did. We dragged it back to take it deep and get that close. You've got to give them a bit of credit.
"I think it was a good score. But one of their guys got in and batted really well.
"I think it will be tight (against New Zealand). A lot of people have written them off, but you can't take them lightly. It would be foolish to do that - they've just beaten South Africa in a one-day series over there. They're a proud nation, and they'll come really hard at us."
As they had been in the victory on Tuesday, Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan were England's top performers with the bat as both men made half-centuries to ensure they posted a defendable total.
"I think we set it up for Jos and 'Morgs' - these guys in the middle - and that's (how to play) Twenty20," Lumb continued. "That's the gameplan, not losing wickets at the top, and teeing it up and giving them full licence to express themselves - as they've shown in the last two games."
He reserved special praise for Buttler, adding: "He's in superb nick, and he's very hard to bowl to at the death. You don't know where to bowl to the guy."
There was also more encouragement for captain Stuart Broad who claimed a second three-wicket haul in as many days to allay fears about his fitness following a persistent heel injury.
It's great to have Broady back," Lumb stated. "His body is moving well, and he's bowling nicely. He's obviously had a few little niggles, but he's back fit and raring to go. We're really chuffed with that."