Chittagong: New Zealand started their World Twenty20 campaign on a positive note after beating England by nine runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in a Group 1 league match that was called off following heavy rain and thunder storm at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here on Saturday.
After restricting England to 172 for six in their stipulated 20 overs, New Zealand were cruising at 52 for one in 5.2 overs when heavens opened up, interrupting the match. With heavy rains unabated, play could not be resumed and the game was abandoned by the umpires.
When rain stopped play, New Zealand were nine runs ahead of England at that stage. It was skipper Brendon McCullum, who pocketed the win for the Kiwis by blasting two sixes and a four in the fifth over off England captain Stuart Broad to put them ahead before rain interrupted play.
Chasing 173 to win, McCullum (16 not out) and opener Kane Williamson (24 not out) added 23 runs off 11 deliveries for the second wicket after the dismissal of opener Martin Guptill (11) in the fourth over. Earlier, England produced a solid batting performance to post a challenging 172 for six against New Zealand in their campaign opener.
Number three batsman Moeen Ali (36), opener Michael Lumb (33) and middle-order batsman Jos Butler (32) came up with useful contributions to set the foundation for the score, while it was Tim Bresnan's 17 off 8 balls towards the end which took England across the 150-mark.
New Zealand skipper McCullum won the toss and elected to bowl and experienced pacer Kyle Mills straight away got into action, dismissing opener Alex Hales on the third ball of the innings.
But other opener Lumb (33) and Ali (36) didn't allow the early dismissal to affect the team and stitched together a 72-run stand for the second wicket in 44 balls to take England forward. While Lumb blasted four boundaries and one six in his 24-ball innings, Ali had six hits to the fence and one maximum in his 23-ball stay.
It was Corey Anderson who snapped Ali's wicket in the eight over when he was holed out at deep square leg by Mitchell McClenaghan. Five balls later, a fine catch by Anderson off McClenaghan's delivery ended Lumb's innings as England slipped to 76 for three.
Eoin Morgan (12) then tried to steady the ship and took England across the 10-mark but he was soon sent back into the hut by Tim Southee. Looking for a big shot, Morgan's mis-timed shot ended up in the hands of Brendon McCullum at mid-off. Jos Butler provided some support in the middle with his 23-ball 32 laced with four boundaries but he ended up dragging a wide ball onto his stumps as England slumped to 129 for five in 15.4 overs.
Ravi Bopara (24 not out) and Chris Jordon (8) then plundered a six each off Southee to amass 15 runs off his last over. But Nathan McCullum dismissed Jordon in the fourth ball of the next over. New man Bresnan then brought up the 150 for England and then blasted a couple of fours in the 19th over, before blasting another six off Anderson in final over.
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