England handed eight-wicket defeat by a New Zealand XI in T20 warm-up as Colin Munro blasts a century
England warmed up for Friday's first Twenty20 international at Hagley Park in Christchurch with a sobering eight-wicket defeat by a New Zealand Cricket Board XI.
Set an imposing 189, the hosts were inspired by a typically effervescent 107 not out off 57 balls from Colin Munro, a veteran of 55 T20 matches for his country. He put on 138 for the third wicket in 11 overs with Anaru Kitchen, though both had a life during a promising first senior spell by Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson.
Munro looked plumb lbw on 26 after missing a sweep, before Kitchen was put down by Lewis Gregory on 17 at long-on. Instead, Parkinson had to settle for the wicket of Anton Devcich, who had launched his third ball straight to long-on.
Colin Munro put on 107 to help a New Zealand Cricket Board XI beat England by eight wickets
England are preparing for the Twenty20 series against New Zealand, starting on Friday
Parkinson later had Munro dropped by Tom Curran at deep backward square on 95, and deserved better than his figures of 4-0-33-1. With Adil Rashid sitting out this game, England may have concluded on this evidence that they have two leg-spinners capable of troubling the New Zealanders during the five-match series.
England's other bowlers enjoyed a mixed bag on a cold, grey day on the South Island. Tom Curran's first two overs cost only eight, but Saqib Mahmood, Pat Brown and Gregory all proved expensive as Munro went for broke.
When Munro pummelled Mahmood back over his head for his seventh six, the New Zealanders had won with nine balls to spare.
The England innings centred on a clean-hit 46 off 32 balls from James Vince, before a late flurry from Gregory (29 not out off 11) on his senior debut lifted them to 188 for five.
Blake Coburn (left) is congratulated by team-mates after taking a catch to dismiss Eoin Morgan
Gregory began with a single off his first ball before powering 24 off an over from Anurag Verma, including two sixes. With Joe Denly making his case for Friday's first T20 international at Christchurch with an unbeaten 39 off 25 deliveries, England had a total to defend.
But there were disappointments too. After making just 11 in Sunday's first game, Tom Banton scored only six before miscuing a lofted straight-drive off Verma to mid-off.
In his first innings of the tour Dawid Malan then edged a wide one from Brett Hampton on 14, while captain Eoin Morgan reached just 12 before pulling Verma to short fine leg.
For the second time in three days, the new T20 vice-captain Sam Billings responded to a mini-crisis with a breezy innings, hitting 27 before he fell trying to scoop Zak Gibson.