Welcome to Old Trafford for the final match, a Twenty20, in the NZ-England series. No one here yet but 16,000 expected to watch on a fine night with a pitch ripe for batting. Had a wander up to the other Old Trafford, Manchester United's home, first. What a juggernaut in merchandising! It's the off-season but fans still lining up to pay 15 pounds for names and numbers on shirts etc. Statues of Busby, Ferguson, Best, Law and Charlton looked like solid bronze on the periphery. Right, time to get the fingers and brain into gear with a massage and a feed pre-match. Back soon with toss details.
Looks like Colin Munro has returned to NZ squad for today's T20 v England. Made 22* & 22 for Worcestershire this week. Will he play?
From observing NZ T20 prep, the team could be: Guptill, B McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Munro, Santner, Ronchi, N McCullum, Southee, Henry, McClenaghan.
England win the toss and bat. Keep the same team from that which secured the ODI series at Durham. NZ make three changes as predicted earlier: Colin Munro, Mitchell McClenaghan and Nathan McCullum come in for Grant Elliott, Ben Wheeler and Andrew Mathieson.
England emerge in fluoro orange strip. What would WG Grace think of this? Santner opens the bowling. Roy narrowly avoid being caught by Williamson at cover point third ball.
England 17-0 after 2 overs. Lucky there are no carless days in England right now, judging by the amount of fuel used to light flame throwers when someone hits a six. Roy hits McClenaghan for a couple over the boundary and it resembles Cape Canaveral on launch day.
England 30-1 after 3.4 overs. Roy is run out for 23 off 13 balls by a Williamson throw after Hales pushes a single to cover.
England 50-1 after 5.2 overs. Explosive start from England's phosphorus match heads.
England 76-1 after 8 overs. Smart plan here from McCullum with option to have extra man out in T20s. Off side stacked conventionally with sweeper on boundary for Southee. Legside has long leg, deep square leg, deep mid-wicket, long on as prepares to offer a single.
England 76-2 after 8.1 overs. B McCullum takes a running catch off Santner. Hales goes for 27 off 23, skying ball to extra cover.
By the way, B McCullum made a difficult catch look easy there.
England 79-3 after 9 overs. Santner strikes again, bowling Bairstow for 1 off 2. Chooses the wrong and hits top of middle. Santner spell 4-0-28-2, including 9 dot balls.
England 85-3 after 10 overs. Henry drops short to Root who smashes him, double forehand, through mid-wicket on a flat pitch. Unwise to keep going there.
94-3 after 10.4 overs. 4 wides from Nathan McCullum. Absolutely no purchase bowling to left-handed Morgan.
Morning Alders, morning all. It's another freezing cold morning here in Auckland but I have safely navigated the frost to get into headquarters to find England 101-4 off 12 overs. How can you summarise the start to this one Alders?
England 101-4 in 12th over. Morgan (4 from 6) hooks Henry in the air to Taylor at deep backward square.
Greetings Steve. Strong effort from NZ so far. This pitch looks a belter on a mild, fine Manchester evening. They have taken regular wickets. Santner has been the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-28-2. Bowling 5th ODI hero Bairstow for 1 has been the NZ highlight. Root still going strong though, which gives England hope. I reckon they'll need at least 180 to be competitive.
The WASP is currently predicting a score of 177 for England. Joe Root is on 43 and Billings on 3.
Good over from Henry with just six runs coming from it.
Nathan McCullum is back into the attack and his first ball is swung away for four by Joe Root. That brings up the Englishman's 50 off 36 balls.
Next ball is also hit for four. This is the charge England possibly need.
Now Billings is in on the act as he hits McCullum back over his head for four. 13 from the over so far with two balls to come.
Whack, another four. That's four fours from five balls for those counting at home.
23 from a massive English over. That WASP is now up to 190.
McClenaghan into the attack now but the result is the same. Root swings him away on the onside for four.
McClenaghan has 0-25 from his 2.2 overs.
WICKET! Billings has edges one high in the air and Ronchi takes the catch. Billings gone for 21 off McClenaghan.
England still using their resources well here. Five wickets to use up in 25 balls.
Southee back into the attack now. He went for 22 from his first two overs.
Stokes is the new man in and after Root hit's Southee's first ball for a single he's now on strike.
Stokes plays a nice shot through the covers and the batsmen scamper through for two.