Napier:The dominant side of England was on display here on Friday, with Dawid Malan scoring a 51-ball 103 not out and Eoin Morgan adding a 41-ball 91. England posted a massive 241/3, and it was of little surprise that they emerged 76-run winners.
New Zealand, under scoreboard pressure from the very first ball, collapsed attempting to accelerate, much to the delight of Matt Parkinson, who took 4/47 in just his second T20I. The visitors' victory means the series is level 2-2 heading into a thrilling final T20I in Auckland.
Malan and Morgan came together when Tom Banton fell for a well made 20-ball 31 in the eighth over. England were 58/2 at that point. By the time the stand was broken, the total was 240/3, with the duo adding 182 runs for the third wicket. There were plenty of records broken during the course of the knock.
The total England posted "241/3"was their highest in T20Is, beating by some way the 230/8 they had scored against South Africa in the 2016 T20 World Cup. The 182-run stand between Malan and Morgan was also the fourth-highest in T20I history, for any wicket. Again, it beat by some distance England's previous high of 159 by Alex Hales and Ravi Bopara, an ICC report said.
Malan also became just the second England centurion in T20Is, and for most his innings, Morgan looked set to become the third. However, with nine runs needed to reach three figures, he slogged Tim Southee to the fielder at deep extra cover, with two balls left in the innings. New Zealand had finally broken the stand, but the damage was well and truly done.
The New Zealand openers had a right go at the target. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro added 54 in 4.3 overs, but that intensity was hard to maintain. Once Guptill holed out off Tom Curran and England got the breakthrough, there was pressure on the new batsmen to blaze away as soon as they walked in. The slide was always coming.
Tim Seifert (3) was seen off by Chris Jordan in the very next over. Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro were then dismissed in consecutive balls by Parkinson soon after. When Daryl Mitchell became Parkinson's third victim in his next over, New Zealand were 78/5, and any threat they posed was snuffed out.
Southee, the home captain, scored a valiant, fighting 15-ball 39 to push the total to 165. That total would have perhaps sufficed on another day, but at McLean Park, England were just too good.
England - 241/3
New Zealand - 165