England thrashed New Zealand by ten wickets in the deciding Twenty20 international to win the series 2-1.
Alex Hales hammered the bowlers all around the ground on his way to a stunning innings of 80 off 42 balls, which included nine fours and four sixes and Michael Lumb provided the perfect support with a cameo of 53 not out as England romped to victory in style.
Opting to bowl first the England attack reduced the Kiwis to a modest 139-8, Stuart Broad (3-15) and Jade Dernbach (3-36) finished with the best figures.
New Zealand made a slow start to their innings, Broad picked up the first wicket of Hamish Rutherford who mis-hooked straight to Dernbach at short fine-leg. Broad and Steve Finn’s spell proved to be crucial leaving the Black Caps on 20-1 from the first five overs.
The skipper Brendon McCullum came out with the intentions of taking on the bowlers as he did in the previous Twenty20 thumping Dernbach’s first ball through mid-off for four.
McCullum was on his way soon falling to the spin of James Tredwell as he was caught at the mid-wicket boundary by Johnny Bairstrow.
The New Zealand crowd cheered at the arrival of local hero Ross Taylor and he delighted them with a slog sweep for a maximum off Joe Root.
But another attempt for a big strike cost him his wicket when Root had him caught safely by Bairstrow in the deep. Only Martin Guptill looked to steady the ship for the Black Caps scoring a determined fifty of as many balls, he departed for 59 Broad picked him up with a steep bouncer which he held himself and also had his third wicket of Colin Munro leaving the score on 128-7 (19 overs).
James Franklin thrashed two boundaries in the final over; two fours in a row came off Dernbach but he then struck in successive deliveries dismissing Franklin and Nathan McCullum.
England’s chase had a completely different tone to the New Zealand innings it was aided by some poor bowling and fielding, 11 runs came from the first over.
Hales was dropped on six by Taylor when he jumped at slip in an attempt to hold onto a top-edge off Ian Butler and again on 11 McCullum put another catch down when he ran round from behind the stumps to square leg which should have been left to the closest fielder.
Lumb hit two massive sixes in the fourth over, it took England only five overs to bring up their 50, the fifth over went for 23 runs Hales hammered three fours through leg stump past the short-fine leg to the boundary.
Hales after the powerplay launched a display of some savage stroke play and reached his fifty, he has now been involved in England’s three highest T20 partnerships.
When victory was in sight, Hales fired 22 in four deliveries including three sixes and a four. He drove two pitched up balls over long-on and pulled a short one straight over midwicket.
Lumb brought up his half-century and victory for England in style with a flick off his pads which sailed over the roof as England made it the highest chase without losing a wicket in T20 history.