Broad lauds record-breaking England
Stuart Broad hailed England’s best Twenty20 performance under his captaincy after the tourists made their record format score to beat New Zealand by 40 runs in Auckland.
England posted 214 for seven - the joint highest international total at Eden Park - as they took advantage of short boundaries to pile up 15 sixes and 16 fours, and then contained the Black Caps comfortably to win the first of this three-match series.
Asked if it was the best England T20 performance he could remember, Broad responded: “Certainly that I’ve captained.
“Looking back to the 2010 World Cup where we won we were fantastic throughout that tournament, but to go and get a record score of 214, that’s the exciting thing in the team, to have that mindset to go and get such a high score.
“A lot of the time you think 170, 180 is a good score. To go and get such a high score and defend it comprehensively, we’re delighted with that.”
Broad reflected on an impressive collective performance which left him wanting more of the same in the second game at Hamilton and third at Wellington.
“It was a really good experience to be out there today - a record batting score for us, and the energy out there in the field was fantastic,” he added.
“It was really calm, but a lot of buzz out there - and that’s what you’re looking for. It was pretty much the complete performance from us today. The power we have is hugely exciting. Our challenge now is to make it as good as it was today at Hamilton.”
In all there were 23 maximums and 27 other boundaries scored today, but there was no doubt England adapted far better than their hosts.
“You’re not going to see smaller straight boundaries than that. Fielding at mid-off was pretty much long-off,” said Broad. “But some of the striking would be sixes anywhere in the world.
“It was probably quite a good toss to lose in the end, because we saw how we batted on it and then communicated really well and defended the smaller boundaries well.
“We knew we wanted to go into the wicket, take pace off the ball and get the guys hitting to the bigger boundaries - and that really worked for us.
“We made it difficult for the New Zealand batsmen to time the ball and settle into any rhythm.
“It was just a chip for the spin. We saw Jos Buttler came in, and from ball one pretty much played a back-foot punch for six over long-on.”
Luke Wright starred with bat and ball, making 42 and then taking 2-29, while Eoin Morgan was the top-scorer with 46 and Broad collected a T20 international-best 4-24.
Those wickets took Broad to 52 T20I scalps, moving him ahead of Graeme Swann as England’s leading format wicket-taker.
Wright, who hit six maximums, said: “It was pretty much perfect and how we wanted to play. We knew we had to get a big score on the board. To get 200 and then to bowl like that was the most pleasing of all.
“I suppose it’s a lesson for when we get to bigger boundaries. We knew it was very small and straight. We tried not to get too obsessed with it, but it worked out well, everyone came in and hit strong shots.”
Even with England’s best T20I total on the board, Broad knew he could not take New Zealand’s destructive batting line-up lightly - and was relieved to see Morgan take a cool catch under a mis-hit skier to see off home captain Brendon McCullum early.
“You never think it’s safe with the likes of McCullum and (Ross) Taylor in their team,” Broad said.
“We were very aware that wickets were going to be crucial for us, and that’s why Morgan’s catch was absolutely fantastic to get rid of such a key man.”
The tourists had been helped by a succession of dropped catches, and McCullum could have few complaints about the defeat.
“We were outplayed today by a far better team on the day,” he said.
“We missed our basics. Batting, bowling, in the field. We’ve got another game in a few days and we need to make sure we rectify those errors.
“It was a really poor day in the field. I think we’ve dropped five catches. You just can’t afford to that, not in any format of the game, let alone T20.
“Credit goes to England for the way they played. We’ve just got to bounce back from this.”
The series now moves on to two more grounds with short boundaries.
Broad added: “It’s important we don’t get too carried away. We’ve two very important games coming up and Hamilton is a small ground again from what I remember, so we’ll have to be right on the money again.”