England, who are being regarded as favourites in the upcoming Champions Trophy owing to their familiarity with the conditions, received a big blow after New Zealand beat them in the first ODI. Martin Guptill’s heroics once again proved victorious for the visitors as they chased down a target of 228 runs.

[caption id="attachment_1264" align="alignright" width="187"]England vs New Zealand 1st ODI: Martin Guptill shines once again England vs New Zealand 1st ODI: Martin Guptill shines once again[/caption]

It was the third time in six months that Guptill led the Black Caps to victory so unbelievably. First, against South Africa in December; second, against England in February; and third, against the same opponents at the Lord’s historic ground, where he crushed the English bowlers with his unbeaten 103-run innings. Last time he faced England in February in Hamilton and played a crucial role in his team’s victory despite an injury. In the latest match, he not only completed his hundred with a four, which was also the winning stroke of the game. New Zealand are now leading 1-0 in the three-match series.

The importance of Guptill’s century can be gauged with the fact he is only the second New Zealand player to score a hundred in England. And it came after hefty 23 years. Mark Greatbatch scored two centuries last time in 1990. Moreover, chasing a 228-run target, the visitors lost their two wickets in the first over when James Anderson sent Luke Ronchi and Kane Williamson packing. Guptill and experienced Ross Taylor then made a 119-run match-saving partnership. Taylor played his part by scoring 54 off 77.

England missed Stuart Broad and Steven Finn at the stage as they were ruled out of the current matches against New Zealand because of injuries. The statistics are enough to prove how well the visiting batsmen utilised their absence. Chris Woakes gave away 45 runs in six over and Jade Dernbach gave 55 runs in 10, including two fours in his first over. However, Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann bowled nicely and gave 100 runs in their almost 29 overs together. But because of a low target set by the English batsmen, they could not stop New Zealand from winning the one-dayer by five wickets.

Guptill’s innings, studded with eight fours and four sixes, was the most prominent in the match and earned him the man-of-the-match award.  Apart from Taylor, Grant Elliott also supported Guptill by his 27 runs. The fourth most runs for New Zealand were not scored by their batsman, instead they were from the English bowlers – extras, which amounted to 26 runs and included 10 wides.

New Zealand bowled magnificently despite the absence of Trent Boult. Tim Southee, in particular, performed remarkably well and took the wickets of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan. The misery of England batting can be measured by the fact that Jonathan Trott was the top-scorer for the hosts with 37runs.

In the last moments, Chris Woakes (36) and Tim Bresnan (25) helped England to cross the 200 mark, but a target of 228 runs was not enough to be defended.

Southee took three wickets for the Kiwis, while Mitchell McClenaghan and Nathan McCullum took two wickets apiece and Kyle Mills and Kane Williamson also sent one batsman each to the pavilion.

Both teams will play the second ODI on June 2 in Southampton.
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