Chris Silverwood's reign as England coach gets off to winning start as Jonny Bairstow hits 78 not out off 45 balls to beat a New Zealand Cricket XI in their first Twenty20 warm-up match
A punishing 78 not out from 45 balls from Jonny Bairstow helped Chris Silverwood get his reign as England coach off to a winning start.
Chasing 173 to beat a New Zealand Cricket XI in their first Twenty20 warm-up match at Lincoln, England rode on Bairstow's belligerence in his first innings since being dropped from the Test side.
At one stage, he hit left-arm wrist-spinner Blake Coburn for three successive sixes on a day when the only thing likely to blow the tourists off course was a minor gale on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island.
A punishing 78 not out from 45 balls from Jonny Bairstow saw England secure victory
Chris Silverwood (right) saw his reign get off to a winning start as his side won by six wickets
England rode on Bairstow's belligerence in his first innings since being dropped from Test side
When Sam Curran pumped Brett Hampton back over his head for the ninth six of the innings, England had won by six wickets with 11 balls to spare.
Earlier, Somerset's Tom Banton – one of three making their representative debuts – hit his second ball for six and his fifth for four, only to fall leg-before to the pacey Lockie Ferguson, one of New Zealand's World Cup stars.
Ferguson then removed James Vince for 17 and Joe Denly for a duck in the same over as England slipped to 51 for three in the sixth. But Bairstow had been biding his time, and Sam Billings – T20 vice-captain on this tour in the absence of Jos Buttler – gave him lively company in a fourth-wicket stand of 61.
England chased 173 to beat a New Zealand Cricket XI in their first Twenty20 warm-up match
Somerset's Tom Banton was one of three making their representative debuts in the warm-up
With captain Eoin Morgan giving the youngsters in his side a chance to finish the job, Curran came in at No 6 and didn't lose anything in comparison with the clean-striking Bairstow. Morgan has a slightly stiff back, but England insisted it wasn't a concern.
Earlier, Morgan had his first look at the two other newcomers, Saqib Mahmood and Pat Brown after winning the toss and choosing to bowl. Mahmood looked lively, and had his figures dented only at the end, as Josh Clarkson hit his last two balls of the innings for six to leave him with an analysis of 4-0-35-0.
Brown, meanwhile, was not helped by some slipshod fielding by his fellow debutant. Mahmood twice put down straightforward chances at long-leg off his bowling, and not until Brown's final delivery – when Banton held a tougher catch at deep midwicket to see off Christian Leopard – did he take his first wicket in England colours. Figures of 4-0-39-1 did not flatter him.
'There were a few things we'll want to clean up with our performance, but that's the whole point of practice games,' said Bairstow.
Encouragingly for England, leg-spinner Adil Rashid looked on top of his game after his first bowl since the World Cup, taking two for 25 after hard-hitting half-centuries from Anton Devcich and Anaru Kitchen.
The second warm-up game takes place here on Tuesday, before the first of five T20 internationals in Christchurch on Friday.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid (right) looked sharp after his first bowl since the World Cup