England benefit from Broad appeal

England captain Stuart Broad took 3-15 in the third Twenty20 against New Zealand

England captain Stuart Broad took 3-15 in the third Twenty20 against New Zealand

First published in National Sport News © by

Stuart Broad led from the front as England's impressive bowling and fielding gave them an outstanding chance of a series-clinching Twenty20 victory over New Zealand at the Westpac Stadium.

Only opener Martin Guptill (59) stayed long enough to provide substance to the hosts' 139 for eight, after England had chosen to bowl first. On a pitch of decent carry, captain Broad (three for 15) and his fellow seamer Steven Finn set the tone with economical and testing spells.

Guptill's run-a-ball half-century featured just two fours and much scurrying, with a slow outfield at this rugby stadium, and a lack of support suggested England should be favourites for a successful chase.

Conventional pace was effective with the new ball, as Broad and Finn restricted New Zealand to 20 for one in the first five overs. 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.

New Zealand's second danger man was to fall to off-spin too. 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 Root's club-and-country team-mate Bairstow in the leg-side deep.

Grant Elliott then glided an upper-cut at Dernbach (three for 36) straight into the hands of third-man, and before the hundred was up the returning Broad took England's fifth wicket in the 16th over - another mis-hook, Colin Munro this time caught at point.

Guptill at least stayed the course, but no one could quite provide the late impetus to the innings which had served New Zealand so well in their series-levelling victory in Hamilton three days ago.

One slip in the outfield by Michael Lumb and Finn's failure to hold a tough chance at mid-off to see off James Franklin in the penultimate over were the only minor blemishes, and Broad helped to close out a polished performance when another short ball did the trick to see off Guptill caught-and-bowled.

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