Cricket: Stuart Broad hailed a “perfect” display from England today as the tourists thrashed New Zealand to wrap up victory in the Twenty20 series.
After restricting their hosts to 139-8 in Wellington, England stormed to a 10-wicket win, with Alex Hales (80no) and Michael Lumb (53no) sharing a record opening stand.
England, who win the series 2-1, were home and dry with an incredible 44 balls to spare — a feat that left skipper Broad elated.
“All round, it was probably the most powerful performance I’ve seen from an England (Twenty20) side really,” he said.
“The result and the way we adapted to the conditions with the ball was brilliant. The fielding was strong as well, catches being held. It was a pretty perfect performance really.”
Hales and Lumb have been deemed surplus to requirements for the one-day series which begins in Hamilton on Sunday, but they signed off in style, smashing nine sixes between them at the Westpac Stadium.
An England victory always seemed likely once the tourists’ bowlers had torn through the home batting line-up with Stuart Broad taking 3-15 and Jade Dernbach 3-36.
Only New Zealand opener Martin Guptill (59) was able to post a score of any real significance. Home captain Brendon McCullum admitted his side had been “blown off the park.”
“(Our) batting, bowling and fielding was nowhere near the standards they need to be — and England were ruthless, and thoroughly deserved the series victory,” he said.
“There was some excellent hitting. We served them up ... and I thought we bowled too straight. We weren’t able to get any swing whatsoever.
“We were aware, once we were batting, we’d need to get somewhere near 170 — because it would skid on later — to be competitive.
“But in the end we probably needed 200, the way they played.
“We were just poor across the board, and they were excellent across the board, hence the gulf between the two teams.”
England play three one-day international matches against New Zealand from February 17 to 23 before the three-Test series begins in Dunedin on March 6.