Chittagong - New Zealand defied a stubborn England and rain to win their opening World Twenty20 match by nine runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method in Chittagong on Saturday.
Chasing a challenging 173-run target, New Zealand were 52-1 after 5.2 overs when heavy rain came down following a burst of thunder, which halted the Group One match played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.
After a 25-minute delay when the umpires were due to inspect the ground, the rain started to fall again, prompting them to declare the end of the match and New Zealand the winners on the Duckworth-Lewis formula, used in the event of rain.
New Zealand needed to score 43 in 5.2 overs on the D/L method, which ruled them the winners. Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 24 and with him skipper Brendon McCullum was on 16 when the match ended abruptly.
New Zealand had lost opener Martin Guptill for 11.
England, sent in to bat, posted a good total of 172-6 in bits and pieces.
Moeen Ali (36), Michael Lumb (33) and Jos Butler (32) spurned good starts.
Ravi Bopara hit a 19-ball unbeaten 24 and Tim Bresnan hit an eight-ball 17 not out to help England muster 88 in the last 10 overs.
England were off to a disastrous start when opener Alex Hales was dismissed off the third ball of the innings, caught one-handed high over his head by Corey Anderson at mid-off.
Lumb and Ali steadied the innings during their 72-run second wicket stand.
Ali, playing only his third T20, hit six well-timed boundaries and a six before he holed out off Anderson in the deep and three runs later Lumb joined him in the pavilion.
Lumb hit four boundaries and a six off 24 balls.
Buttler looked threatening during his innings spiced with six boundaries but was bowled by Anderson, who was the pick of New Zealand bowlers with 2-32.
Earlier in the day world number one Sri Lanka outlasted South Africa by five runs in an exciting finish in Chittagong to open Group One in the Super-10 stage.
Pakistan take on Australia and title-holders the West Indies face India in Group Two matches in Dhaka on Sunday.
Two teams from each group will qualify for the semis. The final will be played on April 6.