England romp to series triumph
England thrashed New Zealand by 10 wickets in Wellington to secure a 2-1 Twenty20 international series victory.
If the previous two matches could be described as one-sided, this was just about as convincing a win as you are ever likely to see, with Stuart Broad’s men cruising to a target of 140 inside 13 overs.
Broad chose to bowl upon winning the toss and led the way with 3-15 as New Zealand were restricted to a modest 139 for eight.
Alex Hales and Michael Lumb then cashed in on some poor bowling and truly abysmal fielding to contribute respective scores of 80 and 53 to England's biggest opening stand in T20.
The former was dropped twice before finding his feet with a series of savage strokes, while the fluent Lumb, also reprieved on 33, finished the game in style by pulling an Ian Butler delivery out of the ground for six.
Butler’s figures of 0-41 from 2.4 overs summed up the Black Caps’ ill-disciplined display in the field, which represented a complete contrast to England’s earlier efforts.
Broad, who picked up all three of his wickets with short balls, may have been the standout performer, but new-ball partner Steven Finn also impressed in conceding just 18 runs from a full allocation.
Opener Martin Guptill battled to 59 for New Zealand and Brendon McCullum looked in good touch en route to 26.
Yet the hosts were always struggling once the skipper and his predecessor Ross Taylor picked out Jonny Bairstow at deep midwicket in successive overs from James Tredwell and Joe Root, who replaced Samit Patel in the only change to either side.
Broad, who had earlier accounted for Hamish Rutherford, and Jade Dernbach shared five late wickets to keep England in charge.
Hales was then put down at slip by Taylor early in the reply, before a dreadful mix-up saw McCullum charge out to square-leg in a failed attempt to take a top-edge, when at least two fielders, including Taylor, appeared more conveniently positioned.
The unfortunate bowler in the first instance, Butler, proved woefully ineffective thereafter as the previously scratchy Hales suddenly clicked into top gear.
New Zealand continued to unravel and Lumb was put down by McCullum, standing up to brother Nathan, before Mitchell McClenaghan followed Butler’s lead by conceding 23 in an over.
An increasingly assured Hales maintained a liking for the leg side as England raced towards the finish line, while Lumb finished with five sixes to his name – including the eye-catching final blow.
Live Text Commentary
8:31am – END OF MATCH - Eng 143/0; Hales 80, Lumb 53 - ENGLAND WIN BY 10 WICKETS!! England wrap up the most comprehensive of wins in some style, with Lumb pulling a Butler delivery out of the ground to bring up his own fifty (34b 1x4 5x6). Hales finishes unbeaten on 80 as the tourists triumph with more than seven overs unused. That was an absolute pasting by any standards!
8:27am - It is raining sixes in Wellington. Lumb goes inside-out over cover off McCullum, but is fortunate not to be run out next ball. Nathan McCullum collected a throw from Martin Guptill, but failed to initially break the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
8:23am - It won’t be long before this is over. Hales clears the ropes with another pull and then drives over mid-off for six more! That’s the second time an over has gone for 23 in this innings!
8:22am – DROPPED CHANCE & FIFTY! Hales (35b 6x4 2x6) - Another drop, although this one is tougher as Brendon McCullum fails to hold on to an edge from Lumb when standing up to his brother. Hales takes the score into three figures by pulling McClenaghan for six, a shot that brings up his half-century.
8:15am - Lumb is striking the ball terrifically well and slog-sweeps McCullum for the fourth six of the innings. New Zealand turn to James Franklin, but this match looks to be over already. England end the ninth over on 85 without loss, requiring just 55 more.
8:08am - England’s openers are content to work the ball around following the introduction of spinner Nathan McCullum, but Hales then opens his shoulders to muscle Boult over midwicket for a maximum.
8:01am - This is abysmal from New Zealand. Hales strikes three leg-side fours in a woeful over from Butler featuring four leg byes and a poorly directed bouncer that brought five wides.
7:57am – DROPPED CHANCE - Lumb takes charge with back-to-back sixes! The left-hander thumps a full ball back over McClenaghan’s head and then pulls for another maximum. A second fielding error follows as Brendon McCullum charges out to square-leg in an attempt to take another top-edge from Hales. The wicketkeeper fails, but one of the fielders in the ring should surely have taken that one.
7:52am – DROPPED CHANCE - Hales is lucky to see a mis-timed shot fall short of Nathan McCullum at cover in Mitchell McClenaghan’s opening over. He is subsequently inconvenienced by an Ian Butler short ball, but a leaping Ross Taylor, stationed at slip, cannot hold on to Hales' top-edged pull.
7:44am - Trent Boult’s first ball prompts a loud appeal for caught behind, but the ball brushed the pad of Michael Lumb, who responds with a leg-glance for four. Alex Hales sees a thick edge fly over slip as the first over brings 11.
7:40am - Right then – time for England’s reply!
New Zealand Innings
7:26am – END OF INNINGS – NZ 139/8 - Another well-directed bouncer, this time from Dernbach, sees off Nathan McCullum, who is caught behind for a duck. Franklin strikes two fours, the second via a thick edge past Jos Buttler, but then mis-hits to cover from the final delivery. England will be delighted with their display in the field.
7:17am – WICKET! Guptill c & b Broad 59; NZ 128/6 - Finn spills a tricky chance, diving forward at mid-off, to dismiss Franklin and immediately leaves the field. It looks as though he is ok, though. Broad then has Guptill caught and bowled off a short ball to pick up his third scalp.
7:12am – FIFTY! Guptill (50b 2x4 0x6) - Dernbach serves up a half-volley, allowing Guptill to drive powerfully for only his second four. The opener subsequently moves to 50 before swiping high over midwicket for six.
7:08am - James Franklin ends a long boundary drought by driving Finn over cover for four, but New Zealand are in need of a fast finish to their innings.
7am – WICKET! Munro c Root b Broad 1; NZ 99/5 - Another one bites the dust! Broad bounces Colin Munro, who tries to pull but pops up a simple catch to Root in the off-side ring.
6:55am - WICKET! Elliott c Finn b Dernbach – 15; NZ 95/4 - Dernbach returns and wastes little time in accounting for Elliott. The all-rounder picks out Finn, running in from third man, with a half-hearted upper-cut. England's fielding has been terrific once again.
6:49am - Simon Doull on commentary believes a score of around 150 will be “very competitive”. A Grant Elliott maximum over midwicket gives New Zealand a lift and they end the 13th over with 89 to their name after a good over from Root.
6:44am – WICKET! Taylor c Bairstow b Root 6; NZ 70/3 - England bring on a second off-spinner in Joe Root and the move pays off! Ross Taylor slog-sweeps for six to get off the mark, but picks out Bairstow in the deep next ball when attempting to repeat the trick.
6:39am - WICKET! McCullum c Bairstow b Tredwell 26; NZ 62/2 - Boy did England need this! McCullum aims a huge mow at Tredwell and sends the ball into orbit. Jonny Bairstow settles himself and takes a fine catch at deep midwicket.
6:37am - A poorly directed slower ball from Wright is dragged behind square by the hyper-aggressive McCullum. Forty runs have come from the last four overs.
6:32am - McCullum looks to be in excellent touch, epitomised by a powerful pulled four off Luke Wright. Guptill picks up his first four with a sweetly timed push through cover off James Tredwell and the Black Caps are building some momentum now. They end the eighth over on 50 for one.
6:25am – The pressure on the batsmen rises as Finn concedes just two in an over featuring an lbw appeal against Brendon McCullum. New Zealand’s skipper then drills Jade Dernbach’s first ball to the extra-cover fence, but the powerplay ends with only 30 on the board.
6:14am - WICKET! Rutherford c Dernbach b Broad 11; NZ 17/1 - Martin Guptill plays and misses at successive deliveries from Finn, while Rutherford is almost run out by Eoin Morgan, racing in from backward point. The left-hander departs in the next over when gloving a lifter from Broad to short fine-leg. This has been an excellent start by England.
6:08am - Broad, who proved expensive in Hamilton on Tuesday, is driven on the up through cover by Hamish Rutherford for the game’s first four, but otherwise keeps things tight.
6:04am - Steven Finn opens the bowling and finds plenty of early bounce, prompting Stuart Broad to bring up a fielder at gully. Just three singles come from an accurate first over.
5:54am - It is almost time for play to get under way at the ground known as the ‘Cake Tin’. New Zealand posted a daunting 192 for six after being invited to bat three days ago. Let’s see if England can limit their hosts to a lower total this time around.
5:41am - The first two matches in this series were won by the side batting first. However, all four previous T20 internationals in Wellington have seen the chasing team emerge victorious. Here are the teams in full:
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Hamish Rutherford, Brendon McCullum (captain), Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Grant Elliott, James Franklin, Nathan McCullum, Ian Butler, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan.
England: Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Stuart Broad (captain), James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach.
5:35am – ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BOWL - The news from the middle is that England will bowl first after Stuart Broad called correctly at the toss. Joe Root replaces Samit Patel in the tourists’ line-up, while New Zealand are unchanged.
5:30am - Good morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live coverage of the third and final Twenty20 international between New Zealand and England. After a convincing victory for Stuart Broad's side in Auckland and a strong home response in Hamilton, we’re set for a thrilling decider at Wellington's Westpac Stadium!