McCullum finds one-day form
New Zealanders 358 for 8 (McCullum 123, Taylor 75, Whelan 4-78) beat Worcestershire 263 (Solanki 80, Styris 3-25) by 95 runs
The New Zealanders sent out a warning ahead of the one-day series as Brendon McCullum's 98-ball 123 led them to a handsome 95-run against Worcestershire.
McCullum returned to keeping duties after his back problems at Trent Bridge and New Zealand were back in their comfort zone of limited-overs cricket. Not that McCullum's game needs much adjusting between formats. He cracked 12 fours and three sixes, his century coming off 83 balls, as Worcestershire's attack - minus the rested Simon Jones - struggled to contain the hitting.
He added 101 in 15 overs for the first wicket with Jamie How and 142 with Ross Taylor, who made a 71-ball 75. Scott Styris, who has arrived to bolster the one-day squad, contributed a useful 36 off 27 balls, and the lower order all scored at a brisk rate, as the total moved past 350.
Worcestershire almost managed to match the New Zealanders for scoring rate at the start of their innings, with Vikram Solanki and Steven Davies adding 98 in 18 overs. However, when Davies was run out after a mix-up with Solanki five wickets fell for 29, three of them to Styris who showed the value of his nagging medium pace.
Solanki resisted the collapse, but it was now purely a task of damage limitation. He fell to Daniel Vettori for 80, lofting a full toss to long-on, before some free swinging from Kabir Ali and Steve Magoffin reduced the margin into double figures.
New Zealand now travel to Old Trafford to prepare for the Twenty20 international on Friday, before the five-match ODI series begins at Chester-le-Street on Sunday.