New Zealand 2-3 England: The story of a sensational ODI series
By Sunshine Golf Cricket
Last Updated: 19/05/18 12:08pm
With their seven-wicket win in the fifth ODI against New Zealand, England claimed a sixth ODI series win on the spin that would move them top of the ICC rankings.
The teams headed into the decider at Christchurch all square at 2-2 after another thrilling one-day series - back in 2015, the sides could barely be separated in one of the greatest ODI series ever, though it was England who ultimately took the honours that time too, as Jos Buttler's unbeaten 83 fired England to a 3-2 triumph.
But, what happened this time around? Here's a look at how this memorable series unfolded…
Story of first ODI
New Zealand 287-7 beat England 284-8 by three wickets
Ross Taylor stole Ben Stokes' thunder in Hamilton by striking a magnificent century and putting on 178 with Tom Latham as the Black Caps won the series opener in the final over. Stokes took 2-43, in his first England appearance since he was arrested in Bristol last September, dismissing Latham (79) and Colin de Grandhomme in quick succession to give the tourists hope of victory only for Mitchell Santner to close the match out with 45 not out from 27 balls. Jos Buttler (79) and Joe Root (71) had earlier hit half-centuries only for Tim Southee and Trent Boult to snuff out hopes of a 300-plus total.
What they said… Nasser Hussain: "I am a big fan of Morgan's captaincy but there was risk-free cricket going on in the middle. Taylor and Latham could just nudge the ball off-side, leg-side and just take the runs on offer. There were too many singles and at no stage did Morgan bring anyone in. I thought Morgan got it wrong in that partnership."
Story of second ODI
New Zealand 223 all out lost to England 225-4 (37.5 overs) by six wickets
Stokes' riposte was swift. The all-rounder finished unbeaten on 63 off 74 balls, putting on 88 off 91 balls with skipper Eoin Morgan (62 off 63) as England breezed to victory at a gusty Mount Maunganui.
The visitors' victory was founded on a dynamic fielding display, featuring superb catches from David Willey and Jason Roy as well as four run outs, described by Nasser Hussain as the best he's seen from an England white-ball side. Stokes chipped in with 2-42.
New Zealand - missing captain Kane Williamson due to a hamstring strain - stuttered from the off and despite a maiden ODI half-century from Mitch Santner (63no), who combined with Lockie Ferguson in a ninth-wicket stand of 69, struggled to post a testing target.
What they said… Ben Stokes: "After the time spent at home and the amount of hard work that I've put in that feeling walking out the other night was amazing and it was a bit emotional tonight walking off the field not out.
"Hopefully this is a stepping stone for the things to come in future with all the games we've got coming up.
"I did [feel nervous] before but when I walked out there it was the normal feeling I get, that was in the one place that I wanted to be, walking out and representing my country. It was an amazing feeling, I'm back here now and I'm really glad to have contributed to a win."
Story of third ODI
New Zealand 230-8 lost to England 234 all out by four runs
England edged ahead in the series for the first time as Chris Woakes held his nerve to thwart Kane Williamson's comeback charge, in Wellington.
Willamson (112no off 143) shared a seventh-wicket stand of 96 with Mitchell Santner (41) after Moeen Ali (3-36) and Adil Rashid (2-34) had caused the Kiwis to collapse from 80-1 to 103-6, and then took the game to the final delivery after hitting a six from the third ball of the last over. But Woakes - who turned a Williamson drive on to the non-striker's stumps to run out Santner with 36 runs required - bowled an excellent wide yorker that Williamson was unable to connect with.
Morgan (48 off 71) and Stokes (39 off 73) had earlier combined effectively together again to share a battling fourth-wicket stand of 71 and lift England to a competitive score.
What they said… Nasser Hussain: "It was an incredible knock from Williamson, for a player who wasn't in great nick, on a poor pitch, who has missed the last game because of a dodgy hamstring.
"He'll be thinking about the fifth ball of that last over, he made it into a full toss and he nailed it straight to Joe Root at mid-off. If he'd gone aerial, he'd have got it tied and England would have had to come in.
"He will look at his middle order and think there was some headless batting, Colin de Grandhomme, Mark Chapman coming down and the way he played - they didn't need to.
"When you've got someone like Williamson in your side, showing you day in, day out how to try and finish a game off, you don't need that headless batting. He was absolutely brilliant."
Story of fourth ODI
New Zealand 339-5 beat England 335-9 by five wickets
Write off New Zealand - and Ross Taylor - at your peril. The veteran struck a brilliant 181no, sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 187 with Tom Latham (71), to inspire his side to victory after the Black Caps' chase was teetering at 2-2 in the third over. Taylor's heroics were all the more remarkable given he was hampered by cramps and a thigh strain.
Jonny Bairstow (138) and Joe Root (102) had earlier hit centuries, sharing a second-wicket stand of 190, but their bid to wrap up the series in style was thwarted by a staggering collapse that reduced the tourists to 335-9 when a total of around 400 appeared in the offing.
Ish Sodhi (4-58) was the chief architect as he dismissed Jos Buttler (0), Ben Stokes (1) and Moeen Ali (3) in a brilliant spell of leg-spin bowling.
What they said… Rob Key: "That Taylor innings was one of the best knocks I've ever seen and would be in the top 10 one-day knocks of all time, for sure. You simply can't fault his courage and mental toughness; the series was on the line, as well as the game, so it was a tremendous effort.
"Given the injuries he picked up he could easily have gone off - he ended up having to run more than he would have liked and he could have done himself some serious damage. You have to wonder if in doing so he might have made a niggle into something a lot worse, putting him in danger of missing the Test series, but hopefully that's not the case."
Story of fifth ODI
New Zealand 223 beat England 229-3 by seven wickets
A New Zealand side now sans star centurion from the fourth ODI, Ross Taylor, could only muster a score of 223 when put into bat first in the series-decider at Christchurch. Woakes was once again the standout bowler for England, taking 3-32, while leg-spinner Adil Rashid matched his fine efforts with 3-42. At one stage, New Zealand were reeling at 93-6, so the visitors will have felt a little aggrieved at letting them off the hook and past 200 - fifties for Henry Nicholls (55) and Mitchell Santner (67) pushing the Kiwis up to a respectable score.
It was, however, no match for Bairstow (104), who smashed a second-straight century, this one notched in only 58 balls as the Yorkshireman blasted nine fours and six maximums. Alex Hales (61) - in for Roy at the top of the order - also played his part in a 155-run opening partnership. From then, the result was never in doubt.
What they said… Jonny Bairstow: "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. That's something I'm really trying to set my mark out to do. It's something that is still a work in progress and will hopefully continue to be for a long time."