England take psychological edge over New Zealand
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum had inexplicably given Patel the ball, replacing debutant Jesse Ryder who had taken the wicket of Owais Shah and conceded only two runs in his sole over.cricket Updated: Feb 05, 2008 16:04 IST
England drew first blood in their cricket tour of New Zealand when they comfortably won the opening Twenty20 match by 32 runs.
Sent into bat first, England cracked 185 for eight on an ideal batting track and then had New Zealand all out in their final over for 152.
But for the heroics of Jacob Oram, who clubbed 61, the match could have finished much earlier as the New Zealand batting crumbled in the face of a well-performed England attack.
Apart from losing the toss and seeing New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin take two early wickets, England were always in control with all-rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas proving too much for the hosts with bat and ball.
He arrived at the crease when the England batting momentum was slowing towards eight an over after a brisk start, and belted 31 from 14 balls including four successive sixes off spinner Jetan Patel.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum had inexplicably given Patel the ball, replacing debutant Jesse Ryder who had taken the wicket of Owais Shah and conceded only two runs in his sole over.
Patel had the last word when he caught Mascarenhas off Kyle Mills in the following over but by then the England run-scoring tempo was back around a formidable 10 an over.
Kevin Pietersen top-scored with 43 off 23 balls before being neatly caught by a diving Ross Taylor at cover.
New Zealand were tight in the field, conceding just two extras, but only Martin seriously threatened with the ball taking two for 34 off his four overs.
Mills finished with two for 43 but his wickets came in the closing slog.
Following his batting exploits, Mascarenhas then tied up the New Zealand batsmen with his medium pace deliveries taking two for 19 from four overs, while left-armer Ryan Sidebottom finished with three for 16.
Mascarenhas also contributed to the run-out of New Zealand's second highest scorer Ryder as the home side's top order crumbled to six for 70 in the 10th over.
Oram's late fireworks, which saw him smack seven fours and two sixes, merely delayed the inevitable.
The only other batsmen to reach double figures were Ryder, who compiled 22, and Mills with a late 11.
The second Twenty20 game is in Christchurch on Thursday with the first of five one-dayers in Wellington on Saturday.
New Zealand and England play three Tests next month.