Mumbai: Opener Jason Roy blasted a quickfire half century to guide England to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in a keenly-contested warm-up match of the ICC World T20 here on Saturday.
Chasing 170 for victory, England reached the target with four balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium, thanks to Roy's 55 off 36 balls at the top and some hard hitting by Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in the end.
Roy, who struck seven fours and two sixes during his innings, got adequate support from Alex Hales (44) with the duo adding 77 for the opening wicket.
Black Caps spinner Mitchall Santer, who went for 16 in his first over, made a good comeback by dismissing Roy in the ninth over. Santner then scalped Joe Root for 12 to lead the fight-back for the Kiwis.
Hales was caught and bowled by Nathan McCullum on 44 and captain Eoin Morgan made 20 before departing.
England needed 30 off the last three overs and Stokes (24) and Butler (8) kept the pressure on the Kiwi bowlers to guide England home.
For New Zealand, spinners Santer and McCullum took two wickets each.
Earlier, electing to bat, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill fell cheaply for 16, before skipper Kane Williamson anchored the innings with a knock of 63 to help the side put 169 for eight.
New Zealand initially blazed their way to 78 for one after the first seven overs, before going through a struggle after spin was introduced from both the ends.
English spinners Moeen Ali (1 for 30) and Adil Rashid (3 for 15) not only contained the flow of runs but also took regular wickets.
Williamson, who initially hit all the bowlers for runs, was stumped by Butler off Rashid. He hit nine eloquent boundaries and a long six.
Ross Taylor, who remained not out on 19, failed to get support from the other end. Taylor and Tim Southee did some big hitting in the last over. Southee remained unbeaten on 11.
For England, Liam Plunkett was the most expensive bowler as he gave 19 runs in his only over, while Chris Jordan, Stokes and Moeen Ali snapped a wicket each.
New Zealand will take on hosts India in the tournament opener in Nagpur, while England will take on a local side on 14 March ahead of their their tournament opener on 16 March against West Indies.
English spinner Adil Rashid said the win was pretty important and that they were looking to come out victorious in every game.
On winning the game, he said, "It was pretty important, we are looking to win every game, warm up game (or) whatever, it was a good work out.
"Different conditions you are going adapt, bowling variations and field settings, what to ball and execute those skills. You are going to stick to your game plan, you execute skills, bowl your variations away and see what happens," he told reporters at the post-match conference.
On using three spin options, he said if need be and if that happens it will be a confidence booster.
"Every condition you need to adapt to, so in India you have to adjust your line and lengths, field placing, that is why we have these practice games," he added.
Meanwhile, New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santer, who picked up two wickets, said, "It was a good game and the wicket was quite good. 170 was around par on this wicket and they (England) chased down with hard hitting.
"They have got a good balance side in all aspects. They play aggressive brand of cricket and will do well in the tournament," he said.
"It was a good head out today and I mean, there are aspects to work on, but good things have come out of this game. There is a lot of spin on this wicket. Pretty happy with our performance."
Published Date: Mar 13, 2016 11:19 am | Updated Date: Mar 13, 2016 11:20 am