England avoid clean sweep

England 287- 6 New Zealand 253 all out (46.3 overs)
Result: England won by 34 runs.

England secured a 34 run win in the third and final One Day match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham today.

The BLACKCAPS had earlier wrapped up the three match series with an 86-run triumph in Southampton on Sunday and a five wicket victory at Lord’s on Friday - the ideal lead-in to their opening ICC Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Unfortunately though they were unable to complete the clean-sweep they were after, with a strong batting display from England in the final overs proving the difference. 

The BLACKCAPS won the toss and elected to bowl first to take advantage of the overcast conditions. Mitchell McClenaghan gave the BLACKCAPS the perfect start as he captured the wicket of captain Alastair Cook lbw for a duck. Cook reviewed the umpire’s decision but it was a wasted review and England were 3-1.

England chugged along nicely to 69 before McClenaghan had his second wicket, catching Jonathan Trott lbw for 37. Ian Bell was the England danger man today as he powered to 82 and England to 153 before McClenaghan made him his third victim, caught by Nathan McCullum at mid-off. Joe Root had been run out shortly beforehand after a great throw from Martin Guptill.

They were just the two wickets the BLACKCAPS needed before England went into the batting power play, which they failed to take advantage of with the two new batsmen.

A big finish from Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler was desperately needed and the pair delivered beyond their wildest dreams. Morgan smashed 49 from 40 balls before he was run out by a fine direct hit from Guptill, while Buttler was unbeaten on 47 from just 16 balls.

The last three overs were very costly with the 48th bowled by Kyle Mills, in his 150th ODI for his country, going for 22 with Buttler hitting a six and four fours. After the late flurry, England ended up 287-6 – a target of 5.74 runs an over for the BLACKCAPS.

Back-to-back century maker Martin Guptill and Luke Ronchi got the chase off to a quick start with 40 off the first six overs before Ronchi was caught smashing a Stuart Broad delivery down the ground.

Guptill continued his fine form racing to 38 off 36 balls before he was undone by the spin of James Tredwell. It was the first time in three innings that Guptill had lost his wicket after a remarkable 330 runs.

Kane Williamson only made 19 before he was caught lbw by part-time bowler Joe Root, while Colin Munro, who came into the team in place of the injured Grant Elliott, was out first ball after getting a nick off a Tim Bresnan delivery.

Captain Brendon McCullum came to the wicket knowing that his partnership with Ross Taylor would have to form the backbone of the run chase. But after reverse sweeping a boundary he was caught behind off Tredwell – leaving New Zealand 111-5.

James Franklin went not long after for seven, before Nathan McCullum stuck with Taylor for a 53 run seventh wicket partnership. The pair played good positive cricket and looked to be bringing the BLACKCAPS back into the match, until a classy running catch at mid-off by Stuart Broad sent McCullum on his way for 28.

Southee (15) then came to the crease for a short and exciting stint, but following consecutive boundaries was fooled by a Steven Finn slower ball.

At 196-8 the situation seemed hopeless, but some late strikes from Taylor and Mills kept the BLACKCAPS slim chances alive. Taylor brought up his second consecutive ODI century and soon after looked to explode, but was thwarted while attempting to clear the rope for the third straight delivery. Steven Finn caught the ball just in front of the boundary and had the presence of mind to pass it back into Tim Bresnan before over balancing.

It effectively ended the visitors’ hopes, with McClenaghan (4) the last player to be dismissed after 46.3 overs. It was a valiant fight back in the final stages of the innings, but cheap wickets in the middle stages left too much work to do.

The BLACKCAPS now prepare for their first Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka on Sunday night (NZ time).


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