England narrowly fail in record run chase

Michael Lumb after being bowled
Michael Lumb after being bowled
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England narrowly failed to complete a record run chase as New Zealand won the first NatWest Twenty20 international at the Kia Oval by five runs.

Ravi Bopara failed to hit a six from the final ball, which would have sent the game into a super over, after New Zealand set a target of 201 for four - their highest total on foreign soil.

That meant England had to better their best ever chase - the 178 they managed against India in Mumbai last December - and were on course for the majority on a fast-paced surface.

But their pursuit faltered on the back of some inspired captaincy from Brendon McCullum, who earlier joined Hamish Rutherford in a blistering 114-run stand.

With England 134 for two in the 14th over, McCullum rolled the dice and left in a slip for Eoin Morgan.

The stand-in England skipper obliged by slashing a chance that Ross Taylor brilliantly held on to before Luke Wright edged behind in the next over for a 34-ball 52.

Bopara and Jos Buttler - just two of the players retained from Sunday’s Champions Trophy defeat to India - edged them close.

Irishman Boyd Rankin, the 6ft 7in quick, was handed his England debut.

England got off to the flying start they required as openers Alex Hales and Michael Lumb crashed 50 from the first 28 balls.