WELLINGTON: Alex Hales produced a batting masterclass as England dominated New Zealand with both bat and ball to race to a 10-wicket win in the T20 series decider in Wellington on Friday.
Stung by a heavy loss in the second match in Hamilton on Tuesday, England bounced back to restrict New Zealand to 139 for eight after sending the home team into bat, with Stuart Broad and Jade Dernbach bagging three wickets apiece.
Hales and fellow opener Michael Lumb then dismantled the New Zealand attack to overhaul the 140-run target in just 12.4 overs in front of a stunned Wellington crowd.
Hales scored 80 off 42 balls, including four sixes and nine fours, while Lumb notched 53 off 34 deliveries, sending the ball onto the roof of Westpac Stadium to bring up the winning runs with his fifth six of the night.
Opener Martin Guptill (59) top-scored for New Zealand but the Black Caps struggled for runs and their bowlers allowed England to score at will, giving them no chance of defending their modest total.
“I’m delighted we could put on a display like that. The bowlers were fantastic then the batsman entertained,” Broad said.
“We’ve played hard-fought cricket.” Despite admitting he was wrong to make the Black Caps bat first in Hamilton, Broad again elected to bowl after winning the toss, aware the chasing side has won all four previous T20 internationals at Westpac Stadium.
The gamble paid early dividends when he enticed Hamish Rutherford (11) into a pull shot with a short-pitched delivery in the fourth over which sailed to Dernbach in the field for an easy catch.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Guptill steadied the innings. But they struggled for runs before McCullum tried to break the shackles and was caught on 26 attempting to cart James Tredwell over the boundary.
Incoming batsman Ross Taylor managed the first six of the innings in the next over off the bowling of Joe Root before being caught out.