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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 09:13 GMT
New Zealand v England Twenty20

By Paul Fletcher

First Twenty20 international, Auckland: England (184-8) beat New Zealand (152 all out) by 32 runs

Dimitri Mascarenhas
Dimitri Mascarenhas hit four sixes in a row off Jeetan Patel

England defeated New Zealand by 32 runs in the first Twenty20 international at Eden Park in Auckland.

Kevin Pietersen struck 43 off 23 balls while Dimitri Mascarenhas, who later took 2-19, struck four consecutive sixes as England posted 184-8.

England then reduced an inexperienced New Zealand side to 70-6 with only Jesse Ryder on his debut making double figures from the top six batsmen.

Jacob Oram top-scored with 61 as the Black Caps were all out for 152.

It was an excellent performance by England, who were asked to bat by New Zealand stand-in skipper Brendon McCullum.

Pietersen in particular signalled his intent for the tour with a superb display of batting.

The Hampshire batsman came to the crease in the second over and struck his first ball to the boundary after Luke Wright, selected in preference to Alastair Cook, had been caught behind.

Pietersen played a series of brilliant cricket shots in an innings that comprised six fours and one six before an attempt to drill the ball through midwicket saw him caught low down by Ross Taylor.


Phil Mustard opened with Wright and struck a lusty 20 off 13 deliveries before he was caught at deep square-leg attempting one huge hit too many, while Ian Bell was comprehensively yorked by Oram before Pietersen's dismissal.

Collingwood, workmanlike as ever, was joined by Owais Shah, who played some wonderful wristy strokes, and they ensured England's innings did not lose momentum with a brisk partnership of 30 - but it was Mascarenhas who unleashed the pyrotechnics.

Mascarenhas came to the crease after Shah was trapped lbw by Ryder and struck 31 off 14 balls.

The highlight of his innings came off the bowling of spinner Jeetan Patel - and his four consecutive sixes all cleared the long-on boundary by a considerable distance.

Kevin Pietersen in action against New Zealand
Pietersen was in blistering form with the bat

It was a display of batting that brought to mind the famous over at The Oval last September when he hit India's Yuvraj Singh for five sixes in an over.

Mascarenhas was eventually caught by Patel at third man and the Kiwis took late-order wickets, but a useful 15 off 10 balls by Graeme Swann at the end helped England up to 184-8.

At no point in New Zealand's reply did it seem as though they would seriously challenge England's total.

And England had the home team under pressure from early in their innings after Ryan Sidebottom struck twice in the third over.

Stand-in skipper McCullum looped an easy catch to Shah at short midwicket before Sidebottom trapped Ross Taylor lbw for a duck.

The Kiwis lost wickets at regular intervals as they tried to keep pace with the run rate and McCullum, Taylor, Jamie How, Scott Styris and Peter Fulton all failed to reach double figures as the Black Caps disappointed in front of a large and vociferous crowd.

However Ryder, 23, whose one over earlier in the day saw him finish with figures of 2-1, showed no inhibitions in his innings of 22.

The burly left-hander played aggressively from the start but slipped as he tried to return to his ground after an aborted single and was run out.

It was the second wicket to fall in the seventh over after Pietersen had caught How in the deep off the bowling of Mascarenhas.

The Hampshire all-rounder also bowled Styris and caught Tim Southee - another Kiwi making his debut - in the deep as he enjoyed a fine match.

Of the Kiwi batsmen only Oram really came to terms with the task and New Zealand would have fallen considerably more than 32 runs shy of their target had it no been for his efforts.

In a superb display of clean hitting he struck seven fours and two sixes in his innings of 61 from 40 balls.

But when he fell in the final over to hand Sidebottom figures of 3-16, England completed a comprehensive victory in the first of two Twenty20 matches. The next match takes place on Thursday in Christchurch.

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