Brutal batting from Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan help England crush New Zealand and level T20 series
Captain smashes country's quickest 50, while opener becomes second player to hit three figures as tourists reach record total
England thrashed New Zealand by 76 runs at Napier on Friday, after a devastating batting performance from Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan.
In a brutal display from the former Middlesex team-mates, Morgan set a new benchmark for the fastest T20 half-century by an England batsman.
Malan then took over to become only the second Englishman to reach three figures in this format.
Morgan would fall short of his own century when he holed out for 91 from 41 balls in the final over but Malan was unbeaten on 103 from 51 deliveries, the bedrock of England's 241-3 – beating their previous best of 230-8 against South Africa in the 2016 World Twenty20.
Their 182-run stand is a record partnership for England and the highest third-wicket partnership by any side.
New Zealand managed 165 all out in their replay with England bowler Matt Parkinson claiming 4-47 and Chris Jordan 2-24 to level the series 2-2.
It was a much-need confidence booster for England who won the first match in the series and were then outplayed in the next two.
Morgan said: "Over the moon, thought it was a clinical performance and given we had to win tonight and level the series, seeing young guys come through with the ball was impressive.
"Dawid Malan has been around the group a while, grabbing an opportunity and making the most of it, that's adding to our depth and what we want out of this tour."
Between them, the two left-handers hit 13 sixes and 16 fours with Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult the only New Zealand bowlers to escape with a run rate below 10 an over.
Blair Tickner finished with 0-50 off his four overs, while Sodhi had 0-49 off three overs and Southee bowled his full complement to finish with 1-47.
"The message is always the same, play aggressively and back yourself," Malan, who joins Alex Hales as England's only T20 centurions, said. "It's not very often you have days like that when every time you have a hack at one it lands safe or goes for six. It's as good as it gets.
"Felt like I had rhythm today, glad I clicked especially with these short boundaries.
"It helps batting with Morgs as well, he changed the momentum of the game and I piggybacked him a bit. To do it on the biggest stage is a fantastic experience."
New Zealand started their run chase at a fast clip reaching 54 in the fifth over when Martin Guptill was dismissed for 27 and wickets fell regularly after that. Only Tim Southee (39) and Colin Munro (30) offered any further resistance.
"That can happen in T20, the guys will learn from it and move on," said captain Southee. "The good thing is we go again in two days.
"It's More about guys learning from the experience of being put under pressure by Morgs and Malan, the only way is to take wickets.
"Got to go out and believe you can chase a score down, but when you start to lose wickets it stems the run flow as well."
The decider in the five-match series will be played in Auckland on Sunday.
Updated: November 8, 2019 01:14 PM