England's lower gear, Stokes' focus and Taylor on one leg

13 March, 2018, 11:21 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • New Zealand's Kane Williamson

Jonny Bairstow made mincemeat of the chase with a 58-ball century, England's third-fastest and his second in consecutive innings, adding 155 in 20.2 overs for the first wicket alongside the recalled Alex Hales.

Bairstow, who scored 138 in the fourth game in Dunedin, smashed a 58-ball century with eight boundaries and six sixes as he combined with Alex Hales (61) in a 155-run opening stand in ideal batting conditions.

Disappointed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson struggled to find something positive say about his side apart from "a good showing" by Mitchell Santner and Henry Nicholls who put on 84 for the seventh wicket.

In 16 matches together since 2014 they have scored 1000 plus runs with five half-centuries and three century stands only eclipsed by India's Shikhar Dhawan-Virat Kohli and England's Jason Roy-Joe Root.

Taylor aggravated the injury in the fourth ODI in Dunedin on Wednesday during his heroic 181 not out, which helped lead New Zealand to a victory against the odds. In the end, it was Ben Stokes who finished with a couple of big sixes off Ish Sodhi and stamped England's authority on what was a thoroughly competitive series barring the last game.

Their latest, 3-2 against opponents who pushed them hard in a succession of tight finishes elsewhere, was never in any doubt from the moment New Zealand began fluffing their lines against some exemplary new-ball bowling from Woakes and Mark Wood.

After New Zealand got victory in the first match, England won number two and number three matches consecutively and so, guest team went ahead than New Zealand by 2 - 1 games.

A rather freaky series for Colin Munro summed up in his final outing as he bagged yet another duck as Woakes snaffled him in the very first over. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro follow. "England were outstanding and they deserved to win the series".

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That would be Curran's only involvement till the 40th over, by which point New Zealand had turned around their position to 151 for six.

"If you only have five options that means you've got to drop another bowler and in the one-day game, almost every game, there is always someone for who it doesn't go as well as they'd like so it is always good to have that sixth option".

Bairstow had earlier held a stunning, running catch at deep mid-wicket to remove Tim Southee.

New Zealand now turn its attention to two Tests against England, starting on March 22. Adil Rashid, 10. Tom Curran, 11.

Despite Nicholls and Santner's efforts, New Zealand were not able to recover from a poor start.

Some of his hitting straight and over mid-wicket was as clean as anybody could wish to see.

Eoin Morgan, in his 200th ODI, won a crucial toss and backed his bowlers in the field. Woakes, who claimed Santner's wicket, was the most economical of the England bowlers taking three for 32 off his 10 overs. "I think [it was great] the way the guys went out in a game that people had compared to a knockout in the World Cup next year and said "Right, this is how we'll react".



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