Guptill guides BLACKCAPS to opening win

England 227-9 New Zealand 231-5

Result: New Zealand won with three overs to spare

Martin Guptill has led the BLACKCAPS to a confidence boosting victory at Lord’s in the first of three One Day Internationals against England.

The opener scored an unbeaten 103 to see his side to victory with three overs to spare chasing England’s total of 227 from the 50 overs. While Guptill’s century was the backbone of the victory, his 120 run third wicket stand with Ross Taylor set the foundations for the win.

After winning the toss, BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum chose to have a bowl in the overcast conditions. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell got off to a good start before Tim Southee had both the openers caught behind giving debutant Luke Ronchi his first two catches in the black strip.

Bell went first for 18, edging a fine Southee delivery to Ronchi, to have England 45-1. Five runs later his fellow opener Cook nicked one in the same fashion, but this time Ronchi took a brilliant diving catch to his left.

Jonathan Trott and Joe Root took the home side past the 100 mark before Nathan McCullum bowled Root for 30 as he tried to reverse sweep a delivery. And just as Trott tried to lift the runrate, he was caught by Ross Taylor on the boundary off McCullum for 37. Minutes later Eion Morgan got a top edge to give Mitchell McClenaghan his first wicket of the day and Ronchi his third catch.

England were now in trouble at 126-5, with a run rate of just over four an over, with 20 overs still to go in the innings.

In the batting powerplay taken at the 35 over mark, the BLACKCAPS captain took the risk of using part-time spinner Kane Williamson and the gamble paid off with Williamson getting Jos Buttler caught at point by McClenaghan for 14.

Chris Woakes tried to get things moving and was caught by Martin Guptill off Kyle Mills, meaning England was 182-7 and would need the bowlers to see out the last seven overs with the bat.

Southee continued his good form from the Test series, including a 10 wicket bag in his last appearance at the Home of Cricket, grabbing his third wicket as he bowled Tim Bresnan with a slower ball. McClenaghan had the task of bowling the last over and he snatched the wicket of Graeme Swann with the last ball of the match caught by Nathan McCullum.

England finished the innings at 227-9 -  a run rate of 4.5. It was considered by many to be about 30 runs short on this track. The BLACKCAPS will be well pleased with a very sharp effort in the field, which restricted the scoring and put England under pressure. 

In response, the BLACKCAPS made a horror start. Ronchi’s batting debut lasted only three balls before he was caught by Swann in the slips from a fine delivery from James Anderson. Two balls later, Kane Williamson was also strolling back to the pavilion – this time to a brilliant catch by Buttler.

After being two wickets down with just a run on the board from that disastrous first over, Taylor and Guptill steadied the ship with a fine partnership. Both players brought up their half centuries with boundaries just before the midway mark in the innings as the BLACKCAPS comfortably matched the required run rate.

Once they both reached their 50s they upped the ante and Taylor fell edging an Anderson delivery through to the keeper for 54. Once again Anderson had done the damage for the home side.

Grant Elliottt joined Guptill at the wicket and while the pace slowed down the two chugged along to 168-4 before Elliott was bowled by Swann for 27. At that point the visitors needed just 60 runs off the remaining 13 overs.

After Brendon McCullum went cheaply for five, James Franklin and Guptill guided the Kiwis to victory with three overs to spare and five wickets in hand.

The last over saw Guptill both survive an lbw shout and witness four byes added to the total before he knocked the necessary runs for the win and his century.

The second match of the series is in Southampton on Sunday.

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