England beats New Zealand by 40 runs in 1st T20

(AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Captain Stuart Broad became his country's leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket as England defended its largest-ever total, beating New Zealand by 40 runs Saturday in the first of three internationals.

England scored 214 for seven after being sent in to bat at Eden Park, beating its previous best total in Twenty20 internationals of 202 for six against South Africa in 2009.

Eion Morgan hit 46 from 26 balls, Luke Wright 42 from 20 and James Bairstow 38 from 22 as England exploited a fast-paced wicket and short boundaries.

Broad then took four for 24, as England contained New Zealand to 174 for nine in reply. In doing so, Broad lifted his tally of wickets in Twenty20 internationals to 52 from 43 matches at an average of 23.19, beating Graeme Swann's record of 51 wickets in 39 matches at 16.94.

England's explosive batting on Saturday denied New Zealand any chance of winning the match and taking an early lead in the series which continues at Hamilton on Tuesday.

After six overs England was 62-1 and it continued at a frantic pace to establish and unbeatable total. After 17 overs it was 191-4 but New Zealand managed a small rally, claiming cheap wickets before the close.

New Zealand was never able to score at the pace necessary to challenge England's total. Martin Guptill scored 44 from 32 balls at the top of the order and Hamish Rutherford 18 from 11 balls on debut but New Zealand quickly fell behind the required run-rate.

England's tally included 15 sixes - the third-largest number of sixes in a single innings in Twenty20 international history - and a total of 154 runs from boundaries.

New Zealand, in contrast, hit only eight sixes and scored only 92 runs from boundaries.

Opening bowlers Broad and Steve Finn (3-39) bowled superbly and paceman Jade Dernbach produced two lightning spells which prevented New Zealand from scoring at the necessary pace. The England bowlers stuck to a shrewd tactical plan, bowling short of a length and preventing New Zealand's batsmen hitting to the shortest boundaries.

"The freedom the guys played with today with the bat set us up," Broad said. "After the losing the toss to set our record score as an England batting lineup is fantastic.

"It's exciting to see the cleanness with which the guys are striking it and to be honest I think we learned a lot from batting on it first, so it probably wasn't a bad toss to lose."

New Zealand's reply was limp with only Guptill's 44 making any impression.

"We were outplayed today by a far better team," New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said. "We missed our basics batting, bowling and in the field but we've got another game in a couple of days.

"We've got to make sure we rectify those areas that didn't go well today."

Updated February 9, 2013

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