Stewart and Hopkins punish England Lions
New Zealand A 227 for 6 (Stewart 88*, Hopkins 41) beat England Lions 143 (Patel 64, Thompson 3-23) by 84 runs
A blistering 88 off 39 balls by Shanan Stewart and 41 from wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins helped New Zealand A shut England Lions out of the Twenty20 match in New Plymouth after scoring a mammoth 227 for 6.
England had themselves to blame as they squandered a dominant position - they had restricted New Zealand to 100 for 5 at one stage. They fell to the sucker-punch from Stewart, who hit six fours and seven sixes, and, along with Hopkins, added 96 for the sixth wicket in little time to turn the game around.
England faltered at the start of their chase, losing openers Joe Denly and Robert Key to run-outs. Though a fiery 64 by Samit Patel helped them recover somewhat, they were always behind in chasing the formidable target. Regular strikes - Ewen Thompson, who made his ODI debut against India, took 3 for 23 - ensured England's innings was wrapped up fairly quickly; they were bowled out for 143 with more than three overs to spare.
New Zealand A won their one-day series against England Lions 2-0 and Thursday's Twenty20 defeat marks the end of a tough tour for the visitors.