England Sets Record in Beating New Zealand in Cricket Opener

England took advantage of short boundaries to post its highest Twenty20 total and beat New Zealand by 40 runs to open their three-match cricket series.

Eoin Morgan scored 46 and Luke Wright had 42 to lead England to 214-7 after being put in to bat in Auckland. New Zealand was limited to 174-9 in reply.

England hit 15 sixes, with Wright getting four, and 16 fours in surpassing its previous mark of 202-6 set against South Africa in 2009. The total also tied Australia for the highest score at Eden Park.

England captain Stuart Broad said it was his team’s best performance with him as skipper.

“A lot of time you think 170, 180 is a good score,” Broad said on the England and Wales Cricket Board’s website. “To go and get such a high score and defend it comprehensively, we’re delighted with that.”

Broad took 4-24 and Steven Finn 3-39 as New Zealand struggled in its innings. Martin Guptil top-scored for the Black Caps with 44.

“We were outplayed by a far better team on the day,” New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said.

The Twenty20 series continues in Hamilton in three days and concludes Feb. 15 at Wellington. The teams will also play three one-day matches, beginning Feb. 17, followed a three-game Test series opening March 6.

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