x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Batting failure concerns for England after first ODI loss to New Zealand

Batsmen fall to reckless shots and team fails to latch on to the chances at Lord's.

The New Zealand opener Martin Guptill played sensibly to anchor the reply against England on his way to an unbeaten knock of 103 at the Lord's. Mike Hewitt / Getty Images
The New Zealand opener Martin Guptill played sensibly to anchor the reply against England on his way to an unbeaten knock of 103 at the Lord's. Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

LONDON // England paid for a poor batting display as the centurion Martin Guptill eased New Zealand to a five-wicket victory at Lord's.

The hosts had a mediocre 227 for nine to defend on a good pitch - after a succession of regrettable shots - and even two wickets in his first over from James Anderson did not revive hope for long.

Guptill (103 not out) and Ross Taylor's stand of 122 with the opener ensured a decisive recovery. Even allowing for another failure for the out-of-form captain Brendon McCullum, and some testing reverse-swing from Jade Dernbach, Guptill got the job done with more than three overs to spare.

"We gave ourselves every opportunity by the way we bowled and fielded and then Martin played a fantastic innings," New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said at the presentation ceremony.

"We have an experienced team and the way we counter-attacked was pleasing."

England have not lost a home one-day international series since 2009. But in the opening fixture here, their first in a new red kit, they were off-colour, especially with the bat.

After being put in under cloud cover, none of the batsmen showed application to stay on the wicket. England lost both wickets, in successive Tim Southee overs, and then two more in a similar sequence to off-spinner Nathan McCullum. Jonathan Trott's 37 was the top score of a faulty innings against disciplined bowling.

England, rocked before start of play by the injury-enforced absence of frontline seamers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn, began carefully as a new ball at either end swung for both Mitchell McClenaghan and Kyle Mills.

It was not until Southee (three for 37) came on as first-change that the hosts' encouraging early progress was interrupted.

Away swing did the trick, first Ian Bell and then Alastair Cook falling in near right- and left-hand mirror image.

The wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, on debut for his native New Zealand having previously played seven limited-overs matches for Australia, completed the two dismissals - with a routine catch to account for Bell and a better one for Cook as both edged drives.

Southee's successive wickets left Trott and Joe Root trying to reassemble a platform for stroke makers still to come.

The third-wicket pair, like the first, did much of the hard work - only to squander it.

A half-century stand carried England into three figures before Root missed an attempted reverse-sweep at McCullum and was bowled off-stump.

It was an ugly outcome for the promising batsman, and the first of three unusually poor shots as three wickets fell for only nine runs. Trott's slog-sweep at McCullum picked out Taylor at deep mid-wicket. Eoin Morgan advanced to McClenaghan before trying to bail out of a cross-bat shot and looping a simple catch to Ronchi.

England mustered 19 for one in the five overs of fielding restrictions. Chris Woakes's career-best 36 and then Tim Bresnan, too, helped out handily, but the collective effort seemed well short of requirements.

It was a setback ahead of the Champions Trophy on home soil starting next week. "I don't think it was a wake-up call," Cook said. "I just didn't think we got it right today. "The batsmen did the hard bit - all of us got in but none of us made the big score."

England added the uncapped Irish seamer Boyd Rankin to their squad as cover for the injured Broad and Finn.

Rankin is a veteran of two World Cup campaigns with his native Ireland, but the 28 year old now plans to pursue his future international ambitions with England, instead.