sport

Broad beaming after crushing win

England's T20 captain Stuart Broad was buoyant after watching his side beat New Zealand by 10 wickets to clinch a 2-1 series win in Wellington.

Alex Hales (80no) and Michael Lumb (53no) hit nine sixes between them as England made a nonsense of New Zealand's 139 for eight, overhauling their target with more than seven overs to spare at the Westpac Stadium.

The Nottinghamshire pair, surplus to requirements for the one-day international series which begins in Hamilton on Sunday, therefore signed off in spectacular style.

Their unstoppable hitting resulted in England's highest opening partnership in the sprint format, and the second-best for any wicket.

England, however, could have felt confident even before their openers got going that they had an outstanding chance of completing the 2-1 series victory - after Broad himself had led from the front in a highly-impressive demonstration of collective talent with the ball and in the field.

Only opener Martin Guptill (59) provided any substance for the hosts - and, albeit on a pitch which characteristically improved for batting in the second innings, his tally of one six and two fours paled in comparison to Hales and Lumb.

Broad was therefore able to reflect with satisfaction after England had done almost everything right.

"All round, it was probably the most powerful performance I've seen from an England (Twenty20) side really," he said.

"The result, and the way we adapted to the conditions with the ball, was brilliant.

"The fielding was strong as well, catches being held. It was a pretty perfect performance really."

Hales and Lumb then merely emphasised England's superiority, and suitably impressed their club-and-country team-mate Broad in the process.

"We know early wickets 'kill' you in Twenty20," he said.

"So it was great to see the guys take their time and get used to the wicket a little bit for two or three overs ... then once Alex Hales got going, it looked hard to stop him.

"Some of the sixes were huge. Lumby's almost went out of the ground to finish the game."

Broad deserves plenty of credit himself, having finished with three for 15 after he and new-ball partner Steven Finn in particular made life tough for the Kiwis.

He had made an important decision even before then, though, choosing to bowl first again - as he did, to England's cost, in their defeat in Hamilton three days earlier.

"After winning the toss and deciding to bowl - it took a little time to make that decision - it was important we put our wrongs right," added Broad.

"We hung into a heavy length, and the way we started with the ball - the tone we set - was fantastic.

"We probably kept them to 20 or 30 under par. But the power the two openers have shown there was pretty spectacular."

It was all too much for New Zealand, whose captain Brendon McCullum said: "We were blown off the park tonight. (Our) batting, bowling and fielding was nowhere near the standards they need to be - and England were ruthless, and thoroughly deserved the series victory.

"There was some excellent hitting. We served them up ... and I thought we bowled too straight; we weren't able to get any swing whatsoever.

"We were aware, once we were batting, we'd need to get somewhere near 170 - because it would skid on later - to be competitive.

"But in the end we probably needed 200, the way they played.

"We were just poor across the board, and they were excellent across the board; hence the gulf between the two teams."