Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

New Zealand suffer batting headache as World Cup looms

New Zealand suffer batting headache as World Cup looms

A masterful century by Jonny Bairstow saw England cruise to a seven-wicket win in the deciding ODI against New Zealand to wrap up the series 3-2 in Christchurch on Saturday.

Hales, back in place of the injured Jason Roy for his first match of the series and since he announced his white-ball-only future, was no slouch either and passed 2,000 ODI runs for his trouble.

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. Kane Williamson chopped on after being out-smarted by a change of angle from Mark Wood, Tom Latham offered a simple catch off Adil Rashid and Mark Chapman was bowled by Moeen Ali for a duck as the hosts floundered. In the end, it was Ben Stokes who finished with a couple of enormous sixes off Ish Sodhi and stamped England's authority on what was a thoroughly competitive series barring the last game.

Hales anchored the other end, compiling 61 off 74 balls as the pair milked the bowling and capitalised on a New Zealand side failing to ignite. Yet England have bucked the trend this winter, winning 4-1 in Australia as well as 3-2 in New Zealand, by bringing in highly skilled and relatively fresh 50-over cricketers to augment their Test players who excel in every format - about half and half.

Openers Martin Guptill and Munro produced a best opening stand of 12 and were never together beyond the third over across the series. England, after being out-performed in the Ashes, were hoping for some inspiration from their non-Test playing stars to put up an improved performance in the ODI series.

The stark contrast in performances was highlighted in the middle of the 26th over in each innings when New Zealand were 93 for six while England were 192 for two at the same stage.

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Blackcaps batsman Colin Munro.

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. Earlier he inspired in the field with a one-handed catch of Tim Southee running around the deep mid-wicket boundary.

They delivered all that could reasonably be expected, putting on 84, Nicholls with a 73-ball half-century on his home ground and Santner capping his remarkable series from number eight with a new career-best.

Former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney on Test Match Special: "New Zealand's middle order looked to me as though they didn't know how to defend spin bowling, let alone attack it. Chapman's dismissal was terrible".

Some of his hitting straight and over mid-wicket was as clean as anybody could wish to see. New Zealand came to bat bat did not present very handsome total. "Following that was always going to be hard but I thought our spinners really did that and created a lot of chances".

"Our bowlers really did set the tone", said captain Eoin Morgan who won the toss and made New Zealand bat first.

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