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England v New Zealand: Hosts comfortably win first T20 by seven wickets

First T20, Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street:

New Zealand 139-9 (20 overs): Phillips 41 (38); L Wood 3-37, Carse 3-23

England 143-3 (14 overs): Malan 54 (42), Brook 43 (27)

England won by seven wickets with 36 balls to spare


England comprehensively thrashed New Zealand by seven wickets with a professional performance in the first T20 of their four-match series at Chester-le-Street.

Switching formats for their first action since the Ashes a month ago, the hosts romped to victory in a chase of 140 with six overs to spare.

Jonny Bairstow nicked the second ball of the chase to slip but Dawid Malan made a composed 54 from 42 balls.

The left-hander fell with 24 needed from 48 but Harry Brook struck an unbeaten 27-ball 43 to take England home - two towering sixes reinforcing the surprise at his omission from England's provisional squad for their 50-over World Cup defence in India this autumn.

A composed bowling performance from England set up the win by restricting New Zealand to 139-9.

Luke Wood was hit for three sixes in the first over but recovered to take 3-37 while pace bowler Brydon Carse claimed an impressive 3-23 on his T20 debut at his home ground - the tourists never able to get going after their fast start.

The series continues on Friday in Manchester.

England start well on road to India

Although a different format, this series is played against the backdrop of England's World Cup defence beginning in five weeks - a tournament that starts with a rematch of the epic 2019 final against New Zealand.

England have not played short-form cricket since March but there was little sense of rust on their return - something that cannot be said for the Black Caps.

Captain Jos Buttler has spoken of his desire to experiment in the T20 leg - eight 50-over matches against the Kiwis and Ireland will be used to fine tune for the World Cup - and two bowlers not part of the squad for India took the most credit.

Wood and Carse adapted to conditions on a slow pitch and kept New Zealand to a score well below par before Malan, one of those travelling to the World Cup, built after taking only three from his first nine balls in an innings that will give him confidence at the start of a big three months.

Brook was by far the most fluent batter amid further England experimentation later, with Buttler dropping himself down the order from his usual place as a T20 opener - Will Jacks taking his place and scoring 22 from 12.

Liam Livingstone was pushed ahead of Buttler to number five and he finished the game emphatically by pulling a mighty six into the crowd.

Tougher tests will come, New Zealand were ragged with bat and ball, but this was an encouraging start for England.

Wood & Carse impress

When Allen pumped Wood over mid-off before thrashing the left-armer twice over the leg side, a score well in excess of 160 looked likely.

But, having dragged their length back in the absence of new-ball swing, Wood nicked off classy opener Devon Conway for three from eight balls as the turnaround began.

The tall and pacey Carse bowled well, hitting a hard length. He conceded one from his first over and bowled Allen in his second - the opener hitting 18 from his first five balls but only three from his next 10.

Wood mixed his pace effectively. He bowled Tim Seifert with a slower ball for nine and had Glenn Phillips, the only New Zealand batter to threaten with 41 from 38, taken at long-off with another cutter - a wicket that ended any hopes of a big finish for New Zealand.

Bowling the final over, Carse then bowled Adam Milne with another length ball before Ish Sodhi skied him to Sam Curran in the deep.

In between Wood and Carse's bursts, Moeen Ali, Livingstone and Adil Rashid - England's three spinners who will have a large role to play in India - took a wicket apiece.

'A really, really good performance' - reaction

Player of the match, Brydon Carse: "Obviously a great start to my T20 career, awesome to play in front of my home crowd here at Durham and put a good performance in for the team.

"I just try to keep to my strengths, try to hit the top of the stumps and it paid off, picking up that crucial wicket at that time."

England captain Jos Butter on Sky Sports: "Delighted. That was a really, really good performance.

"Fantastic start for Brydon Carse on his home ground. He bowled with great skill and good pace. We've given guys opportunities and he stood up and took his.

"Dawid Malan is a class player and has been for a long period of time."

New Zealand captain Tim Southee on Sky Sports: "It was no doubt not our best effort but we've got a couple of days to turn it round.

"The way they took early wickets stalls any momentum but our assessment of the wicket was probably a bit off and with the ball we just had to try and take as many wickets as we could."