Sport Cricket Kiwis beat England in rain hit T20 game
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Kiwis beat England in rain hit T20 game

Captains Stuart Broad (centre) and Brendan McCullum discuss the weather.
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New Zealand defied a stubborn England and rain to win their opening World Twenty20 match by nine runs in Chittagong on Saturday.

Chasing a challenging 173-run target, New Zealand were 1-52 after 5.2 overs when heavy rain came down following a burst of thunder, which halted the Group One match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.

New Zealand needed to score 43 in 5.2 overs on the Duckworth-Lewis method, the method that is used to determine the result in rain-affected matches. Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 24 with skipper Brendon McCullum on 16 while opener Martin Guptill went for 11.

McCullum said he was happy to take two points.

“The game was evenly poised (when finished),” said McCullum, who hit two sixes and a four off Broad’s fifth over to take New Zealand above the needed score.

“It’s a funny tournament, both teams are going to need an immense amount of luck to get through. Both teams will be pleased with the performance but we’re obviously delighted with the win.”

England skipper Stuart Broad was disappointed.

“I think it would have been a good game if it went to a full 40 overs,” said Broad. “Obviously disappointed but you can’t do much when weather comes in between.”

England, after losing the toss, posted a good total of 6-172 in bits and pieces.

Moeen Ali (36), Michael Lumb (33) and Jos Buttler (32) spurned good starts.

Ravi Bopara hit a 19-ball unbeaten 24 and Tim Bresnan hit an eight-ball 17 not out to help England muster 88 in the last 10 overs.

Opener Alex Hales was dismissed off the third ball of the innings, caught one-handed high over his head by Corey Anderson at mid-off.

Lumb and Ali steadied the innings during their 72-run second wicket stand.

Ali, playing only his third T20, hit six well-timed boundaries and a six before he holed out off Anderson in the deep and three runs later Lumb joined him in the pavilion.

Lumb hit four boundaries and a six off 24 balls.

Earlier in the day world number one Sri Lanka outlasted South Africa by five runs in an exciting finish in Chittagong to open Group One in the Super-10 stage.

Pakistan take on Australia and title-holders the West Indies face India in Group Two matches in Dhaka on Sunday.

Two teams from each group will qualify for the semis. The final will be played on April 6.