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Dimi enjoyed aggressive slog

Source - yahoo.com

Dimitri Mascarenhas admitted he enjoyed his display of power-hitting against New Zealand after being denied any match practice by England's success in the warm-up games.

The Hampshire all-rounder won the man-of-the-match award after impressing with bat and ball and helping England win the opening Twenty20 international by 32 runs at Eden Park.

Having failed to get a bat in the weekend's two warm-up matches, Mascarenhas should have been rusty but instead blasted 31 off 14 balls - including four successive sixes off spinner Jeetan Patel whose over went for 26 runs.

Those efforts helped England reach 184 for eight and he then pitched in with impressive figures of two for 19 from his four overs to help the tourists continue their winning start to the tour.

"It's always good to hit a few sixes, it's good fun, but more importantly it's good to get out there and get some runs because I haven't had a bat yet on this tour," said Mascarenhas, who also hit five successive sixes off India's Yuvraj Singh at The Oval last summer.

"I've been out in Perth while the other guys have been in England, playing for my club side, so I've been playing out there and training so it wasn't a huge issue that I hadn't had a bat, but it was nice to get out there with the England colours on.

"It helped that there was such a short boundary and I said to Colly (Paul Collingwood) that whoever was bowling I was going to go after him. He told me to back myself and I did.

"He bowled a few in the slot and they went out of the park. I always try to get myself in and we'd pretty much blocked out a maiden the over before so we needed to get some runs and it was a good over for us in the context of the game."

Disappointed stand-in captain Brendon McCullum, who is leading New Zealand in the absence of injured skipper Daniel Vettori, admitted he made a mistake removing Jesse Ryder from the attack - after his previous six balls had claimed a wicket and conceded only two runs - to recall Patel for the fateful over.

"At the time you've got to go with your gut feeling," he explained.

"My gut feeling was that Jeetan has earned the right over the last two or three years when he's put in some outstanding performances for us under pressure.

"Jesse was the option to break the partnership, which he did - I thought going to Jeetan was the smart thing to do but it didn't prove so.

"It didn't go quite according to plan but I think there's some positives we can take out of it as well. The way the young guys played on their debut was good and I'm sure they'll learn a lot from their outing today, and from our perspective we've just got to make sure we can bounce back in a day's time and turn on a better performance."

England skipper Collingwood was delighted with an impressive bowling performance, especially after his side's poor showing in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup last year.

"We did a lot of good things today but could have got a few more runs. But it was still a good total and the bowlers were fantastic," he told Sky Sports.

"We didn't perform too well in the World Cup and this was of massive importance to us.

"It's a really good, positive start to the tour but we have to keep that up."

Kevin Pietersen claimed "the sky's the limit" for England now after they put their Test disappointment in Sri Lanka last time out behind them.

"Sri Lanka was hard, it was a real tough tour for the team and we were looking to get off to a winning start tonight because we didn't play as well as we can in Sri Lanka," Pietersen told Sky Sports.

"The guys are up for it. We've trained as hard as England ever have. We just want to get better as a team and as individuals.

"As long as we keep performing as we have done and keep getting better then the sky's the limit for this young side."

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