England wins toss in first NZ T20

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Christchurch, New Zealand, Nov 1 (AFP/APP): England won the toss and sent the Black Caps in to bat in the opening Twenty20 international of their New Zealand tour in Christchurch on Friday.

Eoin Morgan predicted the Hagley Oval pitch would become harder to play as the match wore on.

“The wicket looks extremely good for this time of year but the winds tends to get up here and it can be difficult to defend at time in the second innings,” he said.

Morgan named three debutants in the team, Worcestershire seamer Pat Brown, Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory and Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran.

“It’s exciting for these guys to get this opportunity on a tour where we’re missing about seven of our top players,” he said.

“It’s a chance for them to stake their claim.”

Tim Southee, who is captaining the Kiwi side after regular skipper Kane Williamson was sidelined with a hip injury, said his team was looking forward to playing on home soil after a recent tour of Sri Lanka.

“We’re coming back to conditions that we’re familiar with and the guys know pretty well,” he said.

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It is the first time the sides have met since the one-day World Cup final in July, which ended with scores tied but England claiming victory because they had scored more boundaries.

However, both teams insist their focus for the five-match series is on preparing for the T20 World Cup being held in Australia next year.

England are ranked second in the world in T20s, while New Zealand are sixth.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Siefert, Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee (capt), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson.

England: Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, James Vince, Eoin Morgan (capt), Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Lewis Gregory, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Pat Brown.

Umpires: Wayne Knights (NZL) and Shaun Haig (NZL)

TV Umpire: Ash Mehrotra (NZL)

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)

 

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