Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Jonny Bairstow blasts England to ODI series triumph in New Zealand

New Zealand's Ross Taylor could be crucial for the hosts in the 5th ODI vs England New Zealand's Ross Taylor could be crucial for the hosts in the 5th ODI vs England
Charlie Simmons | 13 March, 2018, 11:21

It gave England a 3-2 series win and another surge of self-belief at the end of two months of white ball cricket.

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 flawless batting conditions.

Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner made half-centuries to cover the Kiwis' innings in a veneer of respectability but it was nowhere near enough on a good pitch.

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.

Morgan, playing in his 200th ODI, started the day well after winning only his second toss of this five-match series and asking a New Zealand team missing the injured Ross Taylor to bat.

Mark Wood bowled Kane Williamson for 14 before spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali stepped up to decimate the middle of the New Zealand innings.

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.

The left-handed batsman has played just one Test for New Zealand and has opted to prioritise the shorter formats.

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England's ODI specialists will now splinter away to prepare for their home season and IPL while the Test guns come to the fore for two matches against the Black Caps.

Woakes has set the tone for England throughout the series, taking a wicket in his first two overs in every game.

Indeed, this was the fastest ODI century by an England opener and overall only Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have got their quicker for their country in one-day cricket than the Yorkshireman, who accelerated from 50 to 100 in just 20 balls. With Colin de Grandhomme's exit, New Zealand had lost four wickets for 33 runs in 60 balls.

They had fortunate escapes with record fourth-wicket partnerships between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham in the victories at Hamilton and Dunedin.

Bairstow was positioned at wide long-on but managed to make up the ground quickly and caught it with his right hand before rolling over his back close to boundary rope.

Santner continued his great form with the bat and smashed 67 off just 712 deliveries with 4 fours and a couple of maximums with his partner scoring 55 off 81.

"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. It was clean hitting. "We didn't get a complete performance all series but England were outstanding, they are a very good one-day unit and deserved to win this series".

It was the England bowlers who set up the win, bowling out the hosts for 223. "Following that was always going to be hard but I thought our spinners really did that and created a lot of chances".

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