Rain ruins second T20, BLACKCAPS take series 1-0

Second Twenty20: England 2/1 from two balls
Result: Match abandoned

Persistent rain meant the second Twenty20 match between England and the BLACKCAPS was abandoned after just two balls, just enough time for Micheal Lumb to score two runs, before falling to Mitchell McClenaghan. The non-result means the BLACKCAPS take the Twenty20 series 1-0.

The ground staff had the covers working over time as a reduced-overs match threatened to get underway, but just as the players were coming back on, the rain picked up and play was abandoned for the night. 

It brings the BLACKCAPS England tour to a damp end, with Twenty20 and ODI series wins, and a 2-0 loss in the Test series, as well as the Champions Trophy campaign.

We'd like to thank fans for their messages of support throughout the tour - they have been much appreciated by the players.  

First Twenty20: BLACKCAPS 201-4 England 196- 5
Result: BLACKCAPS won by 5 runs.

The BLACKCAPS have won a dramatic encounter over England by five runs in the opening Twenty20 match at a sold-out Oval in London tonight.

A record BLACKCAPS second wicket partnership of 114 runs between the Otago Volts pair of Hamish Rutherford and Brendon McCullum was the backbone of the victory as it propelled the BLACKCAPS to an impressive total of 201. England though were tenacious in their pursuit and were within one strike of pulling off the huge chase as they finished 196-5.

England won the toss, sent the BLACKCAPS in to bat and had almost instant success with James Franklin caught behind off his first ball.

There were plenty of fireworks on and off the field at the Oval tonight, and Rutherford started the on-field explosions as he recovered from the loss of Franklin to hit a six and three fours from the second over of the day. The 24-year-old went on to tally four sixes and six fours that continually had the crowd ducking for cover. Luke Wright finally had him caught by Alex Hales on 62.

However, McCullum was not letting Rutherford take all the glory as he smashed seven fours and two sixes including an outrageous top edge six. He eventually went for 68, bowled by Wright.

Ross Taylor and Tom Latham carried on the fireworks with Taylor hitting 32 off 19 balls and Latham 22 off 17 to take the BLACKCAPS through to an impressive total of 201 from the 20 overs.

In reply, England got off to an absolute flier as Michael Lumb and Alex Hales looked like they needed to hit the target in half the overs on offer. They were 39-0 off just three overs.

Nathan McCullum finally got the much-needed breakthrough to have Lumb bowled for 29. Hales and Wright took the home side through to a century at the 10 over mark before Hales slogged Ronnie Hira straight to Franklin on the boundary on 39.

Wright went on to bring up his half century and then one of those match-changing moments happened. Taylor took an absolute stunner of a catch at first slip off the bowling of Ian Butler to have the English captain Eoin Morgan gone cheaply for seven.

Mitchell McClenaghan finally got the dangerman Wright for 52 caught behind and England needed 63 to win off the last five overs.

However a timely cameo of 30* from 18 balls by Ravi Bopara kept the home side in it. A six from the first ball of the last over had the game precariously perched with England needing ten off five balls, but young Corey Anderson held his nerve to force only singles for the rest of the over.

It was a close run thing, but the BLACKCAPS battled their way to a one-nil advantage and will have a chance to wrap up the series in the second and final Twenty20 on Thursday night (UK time).


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