New Zealand XI edge past England in warm-up
New Zealand XI 171 for 7 (Latham 64, Devcich 33, Broad 3-24) beat England XI 170 for 5 (Morgan 51*, Buttler 51) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Solid performances from the top-order batsmen helped New Zealand XI pull off a thrilling three-wicket win over England XI in the second Twenty20 tour match in Whangerei on Wednesday. Set a target of 171, New Zealand XI managed a last-ball victory after losing the first practice match on Tuesday by 46 runs.
The stand-out performance for the hosts came from Canterbury batsman Tom Latham, who built on the good start by the openers Hamish Rutherford and Anton Devcich, scoring a brisk 64 off 38 balls. Subsequently, at one stage it looked like New Zealand would win with a few overs to spare.
However, England made a strong comeback, taking three wickets in seven balls to give themselves a shot at victory. Luke Ronchi and Latham were dismissed in the penultimate over by England captain Stuart Broad and Dernbach then dismissed Doug Bracewell off the first ball of the 20th over. It was left to pacers Matt Henry and Andrew Ellis to score the required runs in the final over.
New Zealand XI put up a better bowling performance compared to the first practice match and managed to keep the England batting in check till the 12th over when Jos Buttler joined Eoin Morgan at the crease. The two brought in their good form from the previous game, adding 87 runs in 8.2 overs before Buttler, who made an unbeaten half-century in the previous match, was dismissed for 51 off 31 balls by Neil Wagner.
England opener Michael Lumb said his side was not too disappointed with the tight finish. "We did drag it back well. They could have run away with it easily but we showed a bit of fight and I think it's a good sign we can take away. Unfortunately, we didn't get the result we wanted but the game went to the wire and that should hold us in good stead if we get some close games in the next few days."
Latham was disappointed about his dismissal but was relieved to be back among the runs. "I have been struggling a little bit this season, but I have started timing the ball better and getting into the right place," he said.
England will play New Zealand in the first of three Twenty20 internationals from February 9 in Auckland.