Skipper hails Black Caps' battlers
Captain Brendon McCullum praised his New Zealand side after they defeated England by three wickets in the first one-day international.
McCullum led from the front for the Black Caps at Seddon Park on Sunday in the first of the three-match series as he fired a match-winning innings of 69 not out, while Martin Guptill returned after retiring hurt to help the hosts reach the winning target of 259 with three wickets in hand and seven balls to spare. McCullum revealed that Guptill suffered a slight hamstring strain which forced him to leave the action after scoring three runs at the top of the order. But he came back out with the Black Caps 218-7 and his unbeaten 27 got them over the line with Kane Williamson earlier top scoring with an impressive 74. "They were 180 for two at one point and for us to show those fighting characteristics and restrict them to under 260 was fantastic," said McCullum. "I'm delighted for the team to bounce back again after the T20 series (loss against England) and continue the momentum we built up in South Africa in this form of the game." England's Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root all made fifties but the last six wickets fell for 38 in six overs to hand the initiative to New Zealand.