Friday 13 June 2008 

England Cruise To Twenty20 Win Over New Zealand

Ian Bell hit a maiden Twenty20 International half-century and Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Graeme Swann picked up two wickets as England coasted to a nine-wicket win over New Zealand at Old Trafford.

From the moment captain Paul Collingwood won the toss and chose to field, everything went England's way, with Anderson and Broad taking early wickets to half the Black Caps' charge with Graeme Swann contributing late on with Collingwood and Luke Wright also claiming a wicket apiece as New Zealand limped to 123 for nine.

Ross Taylor hit 24 from 18 deliveries including two sixes and Brendon McCullum 24 from 23 but no batsman was in for long enough against an impressive England attack to enable their side to post a competitive score.

Bell was the man chosen to open alongside Luke Wright and he was quickly into his stride with some eye-catching drives and cuts. Bell chose to play orthodox strokes and there was barely a slog in his 46-ball innings of 60 while Wright (24) and Pietersen (42 from 41 balls) opted to either smash the ball to all parts or play unconventional strokes.

Both approaches worked with only Wright losing his wicket, caught at long on by Mark Gillespie off of Michael Mason before man of the match Bell and Pietersen added an unbroken stand of 79 to see England home with 15 balls to spare.

John Pennington
© Cricket World 2008