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Cricket: Guptill hundred sees New Zealand to victory

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Martin Guptill's unbeaten century saw New Zealand return to winning ways as they beat England by five wickets in the first one-day international at Lord's on Friday.

Opening batsman Guptill made 103 not out, his third century in 70 ODIs, as New Zealand, chasing a target of 228, finished on 231 for five with 19 balls to spare.

Victory left New Zealand 1-0 up in a three-match series ahead of Sunday's second ODI in Southampton.

Guptill could only look on as New Zealand were reduced to one for two after James Anderson struck twice in the first over of their reply

Luke Ronchi was out for nought on his New Zealand debut, having previously played for Australia where he grew up, after Graeme Swann held a sharp second slip catch off Lancashire seamer Anderson.

Two balls later Kane Williamson also fell for a duck, superbly caught low down by diving wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

Just a few weeks ago, New Zealand's last visit to Lord's had seen them collapse to 68 all out in a 170-run first Test defeat.

And further batting failures were behind a crushing 247-run loss that saw England complete a 2-0 Test series whitewash at Headingley on Tuesday.

But thoughts of an equally dramatic slump on Friday were stilled by a third-wicket stand of 120 between Guptill and Ross Taylor (54).

"I was happy to be there at the end and get the win for New Zealand," man-of-the-match Guptill told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.

"The 120-run partnership with Ross Taylor set us up. I enjoy batting with Ross -- he takes some pressure off the batsman at the other end."

Delighted New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum added: "We gave ourselves every opportunity by the way we bowled and fielded, then Martin played a fantastic innings.

"We had no concerns at 1-2 because we have an experienced team and the way we counter-attacked was pleasing."

Guptill had a reprieve when on 13 he hooked first change Chris Woakes down to long leg.

But a back-pedalling Tim Bresnan, who was not right back on the rope, failed to hold the chance and deflected the ball for a six.

The partnership was eventually broken when Taylor was caught behind to give Anderson his third wicket of the innings.

England, without injured fast bowlers Stuart Broad (knee) and Steven Finn (shin) for the first two matches of this series, later saw Surrey quick Jade Dernbach, brilliantly driven for six over long-on by Guptill.

Another six, also off Dernbach, took Guptill into the 90s. On 99 Guptill came through a leg before appeal from Bresnan after England incorrectly challenged Aleem Dar's original not out decision.

Still on 99, Guptill was then beaten on the outside edge by Bresnan, the ball going for four byes to leave the scores level.

But next ball he hit the winning runs to complete his hundred with a pulled four off Bresnan.

The 26-year-old Guptill faced 123 balls including four sixes and eight fours.

Earlier, Tim Southee led New Zealand's attack with three for 37 after Black Caps caps skipper Brendon McCullum won the toss.

Four England batsmen made it into the 30s but none could press on, with Jonathan Trott's 37 the modest top score in a total of 227 for nine.

"The batsmen did the hard bit -- all of us got in but none of us made the big score," said England captain Alastair Cook.

"We have quality players but none of us got the runs."

Southee removed Cook and fellow opener Ian Bell in the course of two successive wicket maidens.

Bell (18) edged a drive to wicket-keeper Ronchi before left-hander Cook (30) fell in mirror-image fashion.

Trott and Joe Root shared a stand of 67 but off-spinner Nathan McCullum then took two wickets for five runs in six balls.

Root, who scored his maiden Test century at his Headingley home ground last week, was bowled for 30 trying to reverse-sweep.

McCullum, brother of Brendon, then lured Trott into picking out Taylor at deep mid-wicket.

This series effectively provides both sides with a 'warm-up' before next month's Champions Trophy one-day tournament in the UK.

jdg/bc

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