Cricket - Thorpe eyes winning start

Graham Thorpe is hopeful England can ensure his first coaching assignment in senior international cricket goes down as a successful one.

PA Sport
Cricket - Thorpe eyes winning start

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Graham Thorpe, pictured, has already helped Ashley Giles oversee England's Twenty20 success this month

Thorpe will return to England Lions duties after the final and one-day international against New Zealand on Saturday, and any future involvement as limited-overs batting coach is yet to be confirmed. He has already helped his new boss Ashley Giles oversee a 2-1 Twenty20 success here this month.

However his new charges fare in the decider at Eden Park, Thorpe has been encouraged by his experience so far, and he said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed it, working with Ashley and (bowling coach) David Saker and all the other coaches and the group of players. It's quite an exciting time, and I hope we can finish it off and make it a good three weeks."

England lost the first ODI - in Hamilton last weekend - and therefore had to win the second to stay in with a chance.

They did so in Napier, by eight wickets and with more than two overs to spare thanks to five wickets from James Anderson and then 50s from captain Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root.

"It was good to get back into the series...and to see the way they held their composure, chasing that down," added Thorpe. "New Zealand would probably like to have got a few more on that pitch, and in the end we made it home pretty comfortably."

Brendon McCullum did his best to keep his team competitive with an explosive 74, but New Zealand paid for a poor start and then a weak finish to their innings.

"We were two for 21 in the first 10, and five for 26 in those last five," said their captain. "Those were the two areas where we let ourselves down the other day."

McCullum is confident the hosts are capable of better, and is calling on them to prove him right.

"Hamish Rutherford is an aggressive top-order batsman, and he's definitely been give the licence to play that way," he added. "If we can just be a little bit more urgent inside those first 10 overs...we should be able to give ourselves a better start."

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