Kiwi opener Martin Guptill spearheads his side to a morale boosting win.
Opening batsman Martin Guptill has become just the second New Zealand player in history to score a one-day international century in England, with his knock essential in his side’s five wicket win at Lords.
Guptill now joins Mark Greatbatch in the records book as the only other person from his country to score a ton on English soil, after the former Kiwi great performed the feat twice in 1990.
The morale-boosting victory comes on the back of a poor Test series for the Blacks Caps, with their batting in particular failing often.
But with Steve Finn and Stuart Broad out of the England side, New Zealand cruised to a comfortable win in the first game of the three match series.
Defending a modest 228, England needed early wickets if they had any chance for victory and the cricket Gods were listening.
After having a good days with the gloves, New Zealand debutant Luke Ronchi’s first game soon became one he he would forget as he dismissed for a duck by Jimmy Anderson (3-31) with the score on just one.
Two balls later and Anderson struck again as he sent Kane Williamson packing also for zero, as the visitors plunged into a deep hole at 1-2 in the first over.
However, Guptill and Ross Taylor came to the rescue for their side and scored an impressive 120-run partnership to put the run-chase back on track.
Taylor eventually fell for for 54 again from the bowling of Anderson, but the damage had been done as New Zealand were now on top at 121-3.
The Black Caps further consolidated with Grant Elliott adding 27 to act as a good foil to Guptill, who continued to surge towards his century.
The game nearly ended in the 47th over when a ball from Tim Bresnen went through the legs of the
England ‘keeper and narrowly avoided the spare helmet.
However, a shot through the on-side brought up Guptill’s third ODI century as he finished on 103 not out to re-discover form on the tour.
England will need to sort out its attack for the second game in the series on Southampton on Sunday, with the home side’s seamers lacking the control needed when defending a small total.
Jade Dernbach gave away 5.5 runs an over, with the stat improved towards the end of the innings when New Zealand batsmen were attempting to block out and give the strike for Guptill to reach his milestone.
And Chris Woakes was far too expensive to create pressure on the New Zealand line-up, with the all-rounder having 45 scored off just six overs.