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Buttler enjoys 'perfect' start
Jos Buttler described England's 46-run win over a New Zealand XI as a "perfect" way to start their tour.
Buttler's maiden 50 for his country, captain Stuart Broad's late hat-trick and three wickets each for Chris Woakes and Jade Dernbach were the eye-catching individual contributions as England began their campaign with a comfortable success in this first Twenty20 warm-up fixture.
Buttler dominated in an unbroken stand of 77 with Eoin Morgan, leading the tourists to 186 for three at the Cobham Oval. "It was great to get our first win, and obviously it was a really good all-round performance from everyone," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
"I think as a blueprint for a batting plan, it was perfect. Wickets in hand at the end allow people to come in, as I did, and score freely at the end.
"It was testament to the guys ahead of me. They realised it was a bit of hard work and, instead of playing any rash shots, they got through that hard period and built a brilliant position for me to come in at the end.
"It's the perfect way to set up a Twenty20 innings, for that explosive finish at the end. With people like Jonny (Bairstow) and Samit (Patel) to come in, there's a lot of power. So it gives us that licence to be really aggressive."
Twenty-two-year-old Buttler is clearly earmarked by England as a potential star, particularly in the short formats. But he has had to be patient, after 21 international matches so far, to record his first half-century - and albeit in only a tour fixture, it is a telling milestone.
"It's obviously a proud moment," he said. "I better not get too far ahead of myself - tomorrow is another day. But I'm looking forward to the series."
It was Buttler, with a catch behind to account for Matt Henry, who ensured an appropriate minor moment of glory as Broad returned with some style in his first significant spell for his country since his recovery from a heel injury.
"It probably just sits behind his Test match hat-trick but I'm sure he really enjoyed it," Buttler said with a smile. "It's great to have him back and bowling really well. A hat-trick is a great moment in any form of cricket."