Published: Sun, March 11, 2018

England romp home, claim series on Bairstow ton

England romp home, claim series on Bairstow ton

Taylor starred in Wednesday's against the odds five wicket win in Dunedin to level the series, hitting a fearless 181 not out, while battling cramp and an ongoing thigh issue, which he aggravated diving to complete a second run on 109.

New Zealand lost Colin Munro in the first over to Woakes (three for 32), for a second-ball duck in the first over when he mistimed an attempted leg-side flick to loop an easy catch for Jos Buttler.

Though Martin Guptill was fighting at the other end and his innings of 47 was cut short by Adil Rashid as the same bowler also sent back Colin de Grandhomme.

New Zealand did rally thanks to a 84-run partnership between Mitchell Santner and Henry Nicholls, the former hitting a career-best 67 to finish the series with an average of 108 after his previous batting heroics in Hamilton, Mount Maunganui and Wellington.

Today, he hit six sixes and nine fours.

England welcome Alex Hales back into the XI for the series-deciding match after Jason Roy was ruled out due to back spasms. Add to that the absence of talismanic opener Brendon McCullum who was responsible for giving New Zealand blazing starts, particularly in ODI cricket.

Bairstow plundered the Kiwi attack, bringing up his fourth ODI ton off 58 balls, including six sixes.

Not for the first time, it was the bowlers who put England in contention, restricting New Zealand to 223 all out. "Johnny (Bairstow) played particularly well. but really the game today was won by our bowling unit", Morgan added in a sentiment shared by Bairstow who ensured an early end with his 104 from 60 deliveries.

Nicholls struck an intelligent 55 from 81 balls, while Santner top-scored with a crucial 67 off 71 before he was dismissed early in the second-last over. Finally England got the series as the better team.

But if this was a litmus test to see how they might cope with the pressure of knockout matches when they host next year's World Cup, England came through it with flying colours, dominating this contest from start to finish to wrap up a sixth successive ODI series win.

"The disappointing thing was too many soft dismissals through that middle order".

Bayliss told Sky Sports: "I suppose it is always a possibility but one of the strengths of this team from a bowling point of view is that we've always got six options".

"Chris Woakes has been outstanding".

Williamson tried to run one from Mark Wood down to third man, but only succeeded in chopping onto his leg stump.

Limping and often grimacing in pain, with his troubles made worse at times by cramping, Taylor reached the 19th century of his one-day worldwide career, surpassed his highest score of 131 and steered New Zealand to 339-5 with three balls to spare. Realising that Tom Latham's success against quality spin in New Zealand's tour of India, Hesson pushed Latham down the order to No. 4 where he would straightway be up against spin.

"Obviously opening the batting is a bit different to batting in the middle order so my job is now to go out, try and score big hundreds and contribute to match-winning scores", he said.

Guptill's patient innings ended on 47 off 68, Stokes snaring another well-taken catch off Rashid, to leave the Black Caps 5-79 after 21 overs.

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