NEW ZEALAND has levelled the three match Twenty20 series with England with a 55-run victory in the second match in Hamilton.
Following the 40-run defeat in Auckland, the Black Caps were desperate for success to keep their hopes of winning the series alive.
Thanks to a brutal innings by captain Brendon McCullum they easily achieved that goal, meaning the third match in Wellington is a winner-takes-all affair.
McCullum hit 74 off 38 balls, including five sixes, as the Black Caps reached 192-6.
England have never chased a score that high and never looked likely on this occasion, with veteran bowler Ian Butler celebrating his recall to the team with outstanding figures of 2-9 off four overs.
Jos Buttler top scored for the visitors with 54 off 30, before James Franklin took career best figures of 4-15 to finish off the innings.
Mitchell McClenaghan offered good support in taking 2-24, and McCullum was quick to acknowledge his bowlers after the win.
“I’m delighted for them,” he told Fairfax NZ.
“Butler in his return to the side was magnificent. It was brilliant and the way he got his wickets, he hurried the batsmen and extracted some pretty good bounce.”
He noted the change in momentum between the first and second matches, a common occurrence in the shortest form of the game.
“T20 is a bit like that, you only have to be a little bit off and if one team plays reasonably well, there’s a bit of a gulf between the two sides,” McCullum said.
“We’re delighted with the performance after us being pretty poor the other day.”