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England batted with verve and bowled to a plan as they conquered New Zealand in the first T20 clash at Eden Park.

Last Updated: 09/02/13 at 20:49 Post Comment

That's the view of Sky Sports pundits Rob Key and Marcus Trescothick after witnessing the tourists crack their best-ever T20 score of 214-7 and then restrict their hosts to 174-9 after some shrewd work with the ball in Auckland.

Eoin Morgan (46 off 26 balls) and Luke Wright (42 off 20) were at the heart of England's batting assault, while skipper Stuart Broad, who revealed this week that he could be blighted by his heel injury for the remainder of his career, was the pick of the bowlers, snaring 4-24 from his quartet of overs.

Read our match report here

"The freedom they showed with the bat is not something you always see from an England team," said Kent batsman Key.

"England lost wickets but they didn't nudge down to the boundary; they kept coming and when we thought Morgan might play himself in he stayed in fifth gear.

"It was really good to see."

Somerset star Trescothick said: "As for the bowling, Steve Finn (3-39), Wright (2-29) and Broad can all bowl back of a length and hit the pitch hard and that helped them the most (at Eden Park).

"They had to bowl short to make New Zealand look for the square boundaries, which were at least 10 yards longer than the straight ones, so Broad got the plans right and marshalled his bowlers well.

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"He was bang on the board from his first over, too, led from the front and picked up an important four wickets.

"England upped a gear from their warm-up games and they were bang on the money - but they have to continue on that same wave."

Key, who played in 15 Tests and five ODIS for England, was particularly impressed by the bowling of Wright, the Sussex seamer capturing the prized wicket of Martin Guptill (44) as well as the scalp of lower-order stroke-maker Nathan McCullum (3).

But he says England should not use the 27-year-old as a frontline bowler on all occasions and must instead let the Lincolnshire-born player concentrate on his batting in the T20 format.

"We thought England might have to get through eight overs of the spin of (Samit) Patel and (James) Tredwell - and that was what New Zealand would have wanted to face," added Key. "But Wright came in and did a really good job.

"But he is a batsman and I don't think you need to go down the road of making him more consistent and bowling four overs all the time as, on a slower pitch, he is quite nice to face, to be honest.

"His game has improved as he has focussed on his batting and, funnily enough, his bowling has got better as he has become a part-timer (at international level)."

Catch the second T20 between New Zealand and England, from 5.30am, Tuesday, Sky Sports 1 HD.

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