Blackcaps v England: Colin Munro ton guides NZ XI over tourists

Blackcaps opener Colin Munro demonstrated his readiness for the upcoming T20 series against England, steering the NZ XI to victory over the tourists in their second warm-up match at Lincoln.

English captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first, with James Vince hitting 46 runs off 32 balls to guide them to 188 off their 20 overs.

The visitors were stalled at 85/4, after Vince and Morgan departed in consecutive deliveries off Anurag Verma, but wicketkeeper Sam Billings survived the hat-trick ball and combined with Joe Denly for a 64-run partnership.

Denly finished unbeaten on 39 and put on another 39 runs off the final 14 balls with Lewis Gregory, who contributed 29 off 11.

In their chase, the NZ selection took a while to master the English run rate, but Munro's ability to retain his wicket and hit aggressively kept them in the hunt. His 107 not out off 57 balls featured nine fours and seven sixes.

The home side achieved their target in the penultimate over, with Anaru Kitchen's 48 off 29 balls helping his skipper to the end.

Victory came two days after England had beaten the NZ XI by six wickets at the same venue.

"It was obviously good to get a win," said Munro. "We wanted to play aggressive cricket and spoke this morning about how we could have gone about it in that first game.

"We did that today and luckily it came off for us."

Munro battled indifferent form into the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, eventually replaced at the top of the order by Henry Nicholls, and managed just eight runs in the first encounter with England.

"In the first game, I didn't take the right option at the right time into the wind and I had a little bit of a go at myself in front of the team.

"I came out today and had a little bit of luck, to be honest, but that's this format of the game and you have to ride it when it happens."

The Blackcaps face England in the first of five T20 internationals on Friday, with Munro, Martin Guptill and wicketkeeper Tim Siefert leading candidates to open the innings.

Seifert opened with Munro for the NZ XI, scoring 12 off 11 balls on Tuesday, while fast bowler Lockie Ferguson - the only other frontline performer - conceding just 27 runs off his four wicketless overs.

"I think [England] were trying things, bowling guys in different situations," said Munro. "I think they have three cemented bowlers, but are still working on who their fourth seamer is. 

"We definitely got a good look at these boys and hopefully we can pass that knowledge on to the Blackcaps, when we get in camp." 

Join us a 2pm Friday for live updates of the Blackcaps v England T20 match.


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