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Lumb expects Black Caps battle

February 06, 2013 10:29:24 UK
Stuart Broad should be fit to lead England in their Twenty20 series.

England opening batsman Michael Lumb has warned his side that they face a tough test in the upcoming three-match Twenty20 series in New Zealand.

Lumb was speaking after the tourists suffered a last-ball defeat in their final warm-up game against a New Zealand Invitational XI in Whangarei, with the first T20 international scheduled for Auckland on Saturday.

They're a proud nation and they'll come really hard at us.

Michael Lumb

Lumb, who scored 45 in the defeat on Wednesday said: "A lot of people have written them off, but you can't take them lightly.

"It would be foolish to do that - they've just beaten South Africa in a one-day series over there. They're a proud nation and they'll come really hard at us."

England's loss in Whangarei did provide a couple of positives, as Jos Buttler smashed a second successive half-century, having made 57 not out in a 46-run win over an NZ XI on Tuesday.

T20 captain Stuart Broad also impressed as he continues his fightback from heel problems, following up his hat-trick on Tuesday with three more wickets 24 hours later.

Lumb is delighted to see Broad back in action, adding: Lumb said: "Having Broady back dusting off a few cobwebs, back bowling and setting fields - I think it did him a lot of good going into Auckland."

England are 1.72 to win the opening T20 international on Saturday, with the Black Caps 2.10, while the tourists are 1.20 to secure a series victory.

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