Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Stuart Broad guide England to emphatic win
Last Updated: 15/02/13 4:01pm
Alex Hales and Michael Lumb bludgeoned the New Zealand attack as England sealed a 2-1 Twenty20 series triumph.
Hales smashed a stunning unbeaten 80 off 42 balls, including nine fours and four sixes, while Lumb provided the perfect cameo with 53 not out as England romped to a 10-wicket win.
The opening duo made light of tricky batting conditions to reach the target with 44 balls to spare.
And somewhat aptly, Lumb wrapped up the victory - and brought up his half-century in the process - with a massive six.
Martin Guptill anchored the New Zealand innings with a brilliantly paced 59.
His knock came off 55 deliveries, including two boundaries and a six. Brendon McCullum added a quickfire 26 but the hosts struggled to get stuck into the England attack.
Stuart Broad produced a superb spell of bowling to claim 3-15, while he received good support Jade Dernbach (3-36), James Tredwell (1-31) and Joe Root 1-15). Steve Finn also produced a tidy spell of pace bowling to finish with 0-18.
And New Zealand's final total of 139-8 always looked a long way short of a winning score.
The slow outfield didn't help, but New Zealand's slow start - with Broad and Finn restricting them to 20-1 in the first five overs - proved crucial.
Broad got the wicket, Hamish Rutherford mis-hooking straight to short fine-leg.
But a double change to Jade Dernbach and Luke Wright then saw an immediate spike in the scoring rate. James Tredwell also took some early punishment, but hit back in his second over when Brendon McCullum got underneath a slog-sweep and was well-caught by Jonny Bairstow at deep midwicket.
Ross Taylor hit Joe Root for the first six of the match over wide long-on, but it was to be his only scoring shot. From round the wicket, the young Yorkshireman made the batsman fetch the next ball a little further and he too was held by Bairstow in the leg-side deep.
Grant Elliott then glided an upper-cut at Dernbach straight into the hands of third-man, and before the 100 was up the returning Broad took England's fifth wicket in the 16th over - another mis-hook, Colin Munro this time caught at point.
Broad helped to close out a polished performance when another short ball did the trick to see off Guptill caught-and-bowled, while Dernbach removed James Franklin and Nathan McCullum in successive deliveries in the final over.
In comparison, England's reply got off to a flying start with 11 coming off the first over of Trent Boult.
And it took just 29 deliveries for the 50 to come up - although by that point New Zealand were left ruing Brendon McCullum's failure to hold a high spiralling effort from Hales off Mitchell McClenaghan.
Hales had looked shaky at the start of his inning but once set he cut loose, smashing the New Zealand attack around the Westpac Stadium.
He cleared the boundary rope four times, while Lumb hit five sixes as the pair put on a record opening stand for England.