By Andy Hyslop
England clinch a 3 wicket and 3-2 series win thanks to 83 not out from late replacement Jonny Bairstow.
England and New Zealand headed into the final game of the Royal London One-Day series level at 2 games apiece. Both sides made one change from the last game at Trent Bridge, England brought in Jonny Bairstow to keep wicket in place of Jos Buttler, who injured his hand in training. While New Zealand brought in Andrew Mathieson for his debut in place of Mitchell McClenaghan, who has come in for some real punishment from the England batsmen.
Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum headed out for the toss, which Morgan and England won and decided that they would ask New Zealand to bat first, could New Zealand set England a testing total.
New Zealand Innings
It was an eventful start in the first over of the game, as Brendon McCullum hit a six and then a few balls later played a straight delivery from Steven Finn onto his stumps, it’s been a disappointing series for McCullum with the bat as he’s failed to get a substantial score.
Kane Williamson joined Martin Guptill at the crease and they went along at a steady pace, scoring at around five an over, Williamson reached 50 but didn’t add to his score and played a good ball from Ben Stokes on to his stumps.
As New Zealand took their batting powerplay at the beginning of the 36th over, they had reached 168/4 after Stokes had removed Guptill and Adil Rashid bowled Mitchell Santner. The fall of Santner brought Grant Elliot to the crease.
Elliot and Ross Taylor, helped New Zealand regroup until Elliot came running down the pitch to Rashid and missed the ball, allowing Bairstow to knock the bails off the stumps in Rashid’s final over, he finished with figures of 2/45. Leaving New Zealand on 210/5.
David Willey returned to the attack to pick up two quick wickets of Taylor and Luke Ronchi, New Zealand were 219/7 after 44 overs. Willey finished with figures of 2/50. Ben Wheeler was New Zealand’s hero in the final overs as he hit 39 off 28 balls, hitting several big sixes to take New Zealand to 283/9 off their 50 overs.
England’s target was reduced to 192 off 26 overs on Duckworth Lewis after a long rain delay in between the innings break. Alex Hales went cheap in the 2nd over thanks to a brilliant catch from Williamson, England were reduced to 20/3 as Joe Root and Morgan both went cheaply, Morgan only facing one delivery.
When Stokes was for 17 England were 45/5, Sam Billings joined Jonny Bairstow at the crease and they put on a 50 partnership to bring England back into the game. England went into the final 10 overs needing 81 runs at a run rate of 8.1 per over.
When Billings went for 41, England were 125/6 and needed 67 off 50 balls, Bairstow carried on as David Willey came and went, Bairstow was then joined at the crease by Yorkshire team-mate Rashid. England went into the last five overs needing 49 runs, Bairstow went past 50 for the first time in ninth one-day international. New Zealand missed a chance to get rid of Bairstow when Santner dropped him at third man.
With two overs to go England needed 17 runs, New Zealand captain threw the ball to Mathieson, Bairstow hit the first two balls for fours to put them in the box seat. Bairstow clinch the win off the last ball of the 25th over as England won the game with an over to spare.
England won the series 3-2, the series has been a great one, with both teams playing some magnificent attacking cricket. We can now hope that it’s onwards and upwards for the England one-day team
England have one more game against New Zealand in the t20 international on 23rd June at Old Trafford before they can then concentrate on the Ashes.