New Zealand v England, 3rd T20, Wellington February 15, 2013

Broad pleased with 'perfect' finale

ESPNcricinfo staff

England carried out a round tour from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again during the T20 series against New Zealand, which they secured 2-1 with a crushing ten-wicket victory in Wellington. Talk before the match had been of New Zealand comebacks but England produced the the ideal response to defeat in Hamilton, with the captain, Stuart Broad, describing their performance as "perfect" - though he needed to take a deep breath before deciding to insert New Zealand again.

The pace bowlers' use of a short length paid off and England took regular wickets, before Alex Hales and Michael Lumb peppered the boundaries to complete the highest successful chase without losing a wicket in T20 internationals. While in the second match, England's batsmen struggled against a moving ball under lights, the only swing on offer in Wellington came in the form of another dramatic shift in fortunes between the teams.

"All round, it was probably the most powerful [T20] performance I've seen from an England side really," Broad 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."

"We know early wickets kill you in Twenty20, 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 accepted responsibility for bowling first in Hamilton but his team justified the decision this time, continuing a run that has seen the chasing side win all five T20 internationals played at the Westpac Stadium. Having taken 4 for 24 in the first match in Auckland - then going for 53 in the second - Broad collected his second-best T20 figures of 3 for 15 to finish the series on a positive personal note ahead of England's ODI and Test commitments.

"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," Broad said. "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."

For Brendon McCullum, New Zealand's captain, it was a return to lauding the opposition after his side was comprehensively outplayed. The batsmen could only manage three sixes in limping to 139 for 8 and then New Zealand's sloppy series in the field continued as Hales was dropped twice early the England chase.

"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," McCullum said. "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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 16, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    @JG2704 on (February 16, 2013, 9:31 GMT), I was referring to the statement in the story that 3/15 are Broad's second-best T20I bowling figures, with his best being the 4/24 he took in the first game of this series. Certainly the T20 rankings are the most volatile, although the fact that NZ are ranked #8 meant that the effects of a loss for England were more pronounced. Even a 2-1 win in this ODI series will see them drop 3 points. They would stay at #2 but they would be decimal points ahead of Australia while they are currently decimal points behind India. A 3-0 win will see them sneak to #1, decimal points ahead of India.

  • Nicholas on February 16, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Short-of-a-length paid off! - We never see that written much in cricket. That's pretty much all Broad et al. can bowl seemingly, and kudos it pays off sometimes it seems, especially in Russian roulette T20's.

  • John on February 16, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (February 16, 2013, 0:34 GMT) I think the ICC puts more importance on SRs for batsmen and economy rates for bowlers for T20 than averages etc , although I think the way teams can rocket up and plummet down the team ratings on the back of 1 result seeam a bit much

  • John on February 16, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Easy England win in game 1, easy NZ win in game 2, easy England win again in game 3. Unfortunately, no close games. That's T20 for you.

  • John on February 16, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    The convention is to rate a bowlers figures by wickets first and then by runs. That's generally relevant in Test cricket but less so in limited-overs formats. In T20 though, I would definitely rate 3/15 as better than 4/24.

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