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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Mar 22, 2014
New Zealand kicked off their ICC World T20 2014 campaign with a nine-run victory (by D/L method) over England at Chittagong. England had scored 172, but would consider themselves unlucky when the rain came down just after the minimum requirement of five overs were done in the New Zealand innings. The Kiwis ended with 52 for one after 5.2 overs.
Bolts of lightening surrounded the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. As Brendon McCullum readied himself to face the fifth ball of the fifth over, he withdrew. A huge bolt of lightening had come down just behind the end from which Stuart Broad was running in. The clouds were gathering and they needed five overs to constitute a game. New Zealand were 41 for one then and needed to be 42 at the end of 5 by the Duckworth-Lewis method.
McCullum defended the fifth ball and then swatted it for six putting New Zealand in control. Two balls into the sixth over, the rain came down and they had to leave the field having braved the threat of lightening.
Earlier, England had put up 172, a score that can be considered good, but given their performance in the powerplay, they may have expected more. New Zealand’s bowlers shared the honours. Corey Anderson was the star for New Zealand. Had his last over not gone for 13, he would have had good figures. Nevertheless, he had two wickets and two good catches.
It was Anderson who started things off as Alex Hales got an outside edge off Kyle Mills and was taken beautifully at mid-off. Anderson outstretched his hand and took it one handed. Thereafter, Moeen Ali took control with his elegance.
Ali was in superb form. He picked deliveries off a length and dispatched them with ease. Those drives had a touch of elegance and the pulls had a bit of panache. Michael Lumb too got going and they put up 55 in the powerplay. But, England lost them in quick succession. Eoin Morgan was just about warming up for an assault but New Zealand dismissed him in time. Overall, New Zealand’s fielding display was fantastic and clean.
Jos Buttler kept England in play with a well-paced 32 and in the slog overs, Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan’s cameos ensured that England cross 170.
New Zealand had started off very well although they lost Martin Guptill early. It would have been a good game had rain not interrupted, but England might just see an omen. In 2010, the year they won the trophy, their first game was washed out and the opposition, West Indies on that occasion, had won the game on the D/L method. England would hope their fortunes turn out somewhat similar this time. On the other hand, decent start for New Zealand, a strong unit under the leadership of a sound captain.
England 172 for 6 in 20 overs (Michael Lumb 33, Moeen Ali 36, Jos Buttler 32; Corey Anderson 2 for 32) lost to New Zealand 52 for 1 in 5.2 overs (Kane Williamson 24*, Brendon McCullum 16*; Jade Dernbach 1 for 13) by 9 runs by D/L method.
Man of the Match: Corey Anderson.
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