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February 12, 2008
Jesse Ryder received plenty of criticism for his less than svelte figure prior to this series, but in two games he has answered his critics in emphatic fashion. His thrilling 79 from 62 balls today, sharing in a record unbroken partnership with Brendon McCullum, took New Zealand to a 10-wicket thrashing of England with more than 17 overs to spare.
"To finish it off with 10 wickets in hand was unbelievable - the first of my career, hopefully the first of many," Ryder said. "It was great. We just enjoyed ourselves, played our shots and they came off today. They came at us quite hard early doors but we overcame it."
Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain - who missed the two Twenty20s - was delighted to see his two young openers take the attack to England.
"They can be an exciting opening pair for us for a lot of years and if they keep playing like that they're going to make some crowds pretty happy," Vettori said. "They go out and play their natural games and when you sit back and watch it they are actually playing really good cricket shots. Nothing looks out of control."
In a rain-affected match, England were dismissed for a paltry 158 in under 36 overs and their captain Paul Collingwood - who ran himself out for a single - couldn't explain the reason for England's dire effort.
"It was very poor, very disappointing," he said. "All the blokes in the dressing room are devastated at that performance. We had a good start and when that rain came it really took the stuffing out of us in some ways. I don't know why. I wish I could pinpoint it but from that moment on really it was a very poor performance.
"When we came out after the break we didn't get ourselves in, we had another few run-outs, which was again disappointing because we didn't learn from the last game. It's not the standards that we like to set ourselves, and certainly with the bat, we're not getting the totals on the board to defend and obviously we've got to put it right pretty soon."
The next one-dayer is on Friday in Auckland.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.