England began their World Twenty20 campaign with a loss at the hands of New Zealand after storms forced an abrupt halt to play in Chittagong, with the Black Caps leading by nine runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
England, sent in to bat by New Zealand at the toss, put together a decent total of 172-6 with the bat.
It looked as if that would at least make for a close finish, but in the end, the weather deprived the game of a full chase.
But New Zealand, who had raced to 52-1 from 5.2 overs with Brendon McCullum picking up the pace when the clouds gathered, had done enough.
|World T20 Scorecard: England vs. New Zealand|
|Lumb||c Anderson||b McClenaghan||33||42||24|
|Hales||c Anderson||b Mills||0||2|
|Moeen||c McClenaghan||b Anderson||36||33||23|
|Morgan||c B McCullum||b Southee||12||20||15|
|Jordan||c Southee||b N McCullum||8||9||6|
|Extras||0nb 6w 0b 4lb||10|
|Total||for 6||172||(20.0 ovs)|
|New Zealand Innings|
|Guptill||c Jordan||b Dernbach||11||9||9|
|B McCullum||not out||16||11||6|
|Extras||0nb 0w 0b 1lb||1|
|Total||for 1||52||(5.2 ovs)|
There were several useful cameos in the England innings. Recovering from the early loss of Alex Hales, Michael Lumb (33 from 24 balls) and Moeen Ali (36 from 23) played fluently and calmly in a way the top order has rarely produced of late for England.
Even their departures in quick succession—Lumb the victim of a super catch from Corey Anderson, who had just bowled the ball that accounted for Ali—did not dent England's progress.
Jos Buttler prised out 32 with four boundaries, while Ravi Bopara added a six in an unbeaten 24 and even Tim Bresnan managed a breezy unbeaten 17.
New Zealand began quickly, with Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson gelling as a relatively new pairing at the top of the order.
The much-maligned Jade Dernbach bowled two fine overs that went for just 13 runs and drew the wicket of Guptill, who misjudged a short ball.
Had the rest of the team kept things so economical, England might have forced victory. As it was, McCullum took full advantage of Stuart Broad in the penultimate over before the rain fell, clattering two sixes and a four in the space of four deliveries to make sure that his side were in front.
With lightning overhead, the players rushed off, and that was the end of play.
England have three matches left against Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Netherlands and may well require victory in all three to have a hope of advancing.
Whether they are capable of doing so remains to be seen, even if they do can take some heart from their batting display.
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