England take decider

England take decider

A fine performance with the ball has led England to a five wicket victory and 2-1 series win in the final ANZ ODI match at Eden Park in Auckland tonight.

Having won the toss and put the BLACKCAPS in to bat, all five of the English bowlers had success as they limited the home side to 186 all out after 43.5 overs. England had the occasional hiccup in their pursuit, but went on to surpass the total after 37.3 overs.  

Defending such a low total the BLACKCAPS were in desperate need of early wickets, but couldn’t apply the pressure to do so and made their first break through in the seventh over when they picked up Ian Bell for 24.

His replacement though, Jonathan Trott, carried on his great form from the second match in Napier and alongside his captain quickly put England in the box seat with a 67 run second wicket partnership.

The pair played freely and effectively and brought up the 100 runs for England in the 20th over. Trott though feathered one off Tim Southee just two overs later to give the BLACKCAPS the faintest sniff of a comeback.

Cook fell not too much longer for 46, but the momentum stayed with England, as Eoin Morgan clubbed 39 off 24 to put his side within reaching distance of victory. Both he and Jos Buttler (3) departed before the winning runs were brought up, but despite some great fight from the BLACKCAPS the result had become inevitable.

Joe Root (28*) and Chris Woakes (8*) ended proceedings calmly to give England their first ODI series win in New Zealand since 1991.

Earlier, the BLACKCAPS top order had been left reeling after they were reduced to 11 for three. A brief revival from Ross Taylor (28) and Grant Elliot (24) then came to a tragic end when a mix up saw the latter run out in the 23rd over.

It only got worse for the hosts, with Taylor given out in a debatable decision from the umpires and James Franklin (13) and Nathan McCullum (4) also gone with few runs to their name.

There was however one man who remained for the BLACKCAPS – Brendon McCullum. Having scored 74 and 69 not out in the first two One Dayers, the skipper once again stood tall for his side with a truly valiant performance.

Coming in at 64 for four, McCullum showed patience at the beginning of his innings and explosiveness at the end to get his side to a respectable total.

Realising that he was going to run out of partners, the 31 year-old looked for the boundary and found it regularly, smashing five sixes and six fours in his 68 ball stay at the crease.  With 79 to his name the entertaining innings came to an end when he was caught on the edge of the boundary by a leaping James Anderson.

While it may not have been enough to help his side win, McCullum finished the ANZ ODI series with an outstanding average of 111.

Steven Finn was the chief wicket-taker for England and finished with figures of three for 27 from nine overs. Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad both picked up a couple, while Chris Woakes and James Anderson had one apiece.

The series now moves to Dunedin for the first Test, which begins March 6 at University Oval.

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