England 408-9 (50 overs)

New Zealand 198 (31.1 overs)

England's disastrous World Cup campaign is still fresh in the memory, but they began their rebuilding strategy yesterday in fine style with an uplifting victory over New Zealand. After setting an unlikely target of 409 for victory in 50 overs in Birmingham, their bowlers completed the job to ensure a massive winning margin of 210 runs.

Gone were the tentative efforts to steadily accumulate runs while holding on to wickets. Instead a fresh vitality was evident as the players were allowed to express themselves.

For Joe Root and Jos Buttler it was as though the shackles had been lifted as they sauntered to exhilarating centuries. Captain Eoin Morgan played with the nous and craft that had made him one of the most consistent limited overs players in the world.

Poor start

In truth though the day did not start well for England. Jason Roy's golden duck was as inauspicious a start to an innings as you can get. Trent Boult (4-55) was one bowler who certainly deserved no criticism afterwards, claiming Roy's wicket to set early alarm bells ringing in England's new dawn.

Momentum building

Undeterred, Alex Hales and the majestic Joe Root added a rapid half-century partnership for the second wicket. The impetus was there to start with, Hales' cameo knock of 20 moving things along nicely.

Captain's knock

Root was readily enjoying the new found freedom as Morgan joined him in a free-scoring stand of 121 for the third wicket. Morgan hit three sixes and reached his 50 but was then trapped LBW by Mitchell McClenaghan. His own batting issues Down Under had been replaced by a 46-ball masterclass.

The Yorkshireman was next to go, yet by then he had already reached three figures and a quite brilliant 104 off just 78 balls had ensured England looked set for a competitive total at 180-4.

Flurry of wickets

Ben Stokes (10) and Sam Billings (3) both missed out to reel England back in at a teetering 202-6. There were still plenty of overs in hand though and Jos Buttler was just about to tee off.

Buttler's scorching innings

A scintillating 7th wicket partnership of 177 between Buttler and Adil Rashid powered the home side on towards a huge score.

Buttler's 129 from 77 balls included 5 sixes and 13 fours, and brought the crowd to their feet in appreciation. Rashid (69) was equally impressive in his own way, lofting two sixes over the ropes himself.

McClenaghan finally removed Buttler, but by then it didn't really matter as England were into the stratosphere at 379-7. They maintained the pace to reach their record score of 408-9 from 50 overs.

NZ fail to impress

New Zealand's innings proved an anti-climax, particularly after Steven Finn had removed Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill early on. Kane Williamson (45) and Ross Taylor (57) kept some interest going for the Kiwis, but it was clear that it would not be their day. As McClenaghan became their final wicket, lofting Chris Jordan out to Hales on the boundary, England celebrated to a man.

The England bowlers had done their job as professionally as the batsmen had before them. Rashid and Finn deserved special praise with their four wickets apiece.

But let's not get too carried away. It was just one match and just one victory. There will be many occasions in the future when everything does not go to plan. When they falter there should be no reversion to type nor should players be admonished for taking chances.