England players credited their stint in T10 cricket in the UAE for helping them emerge on top in the rain-curtailed decider in Auckland.
England clinched a super over win over the Black Caps to take the T20 series 3-2 after the final match was reduced to 11 overs a side. The Kiwis batted first and posted 146-5, a score that was matched by the visitors in the second essay.
In the deciding super over, England all-rounder Chris Jordan defended 17 runs to clinch series victory.
After the match, Jordan said many England players featured in the T10 league in Sharjah last year – which has moved to the UAE’s capital city in 2019 as the Abu Dhabi T10 – and that helped adjust to the demands of an 11 overs-a-side match.
"A few of us have played T10 cricket so the mood was very calm. I just tried to keep a clear mind," Jordan was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“I bowled a super over before in Sharjah against Pakistan in 2016, so it was more or less going through processes and letting what will be, be.”
Man-of-the-match Jonny Bairstow, who hit 47 off just 18 balls, also said the 10-over experience in the UAE helped guide the team in a high-scoring chase.
"It was pretty imposing to try and chase down 150," Bairstow told Sky Sports. "But a lot of the guys played in the T10 last year and said, 'look, we're not far off here - if we can within striking distance with the small boundaries, we've got a chance'."
Last year, players like Jordan, Jofra Archer, Bairstow and Eoin Morgan featured in the tournament. This year Morgan, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will be among those who will be part of the proceedings in the UAE capital.