Jonny Bairstow ton helps England win series against New Zealand

Tricia Pearson
March 12, 2018

"I think, certainly, as a batting unit we didn't really fire in terms of the balance we wanted to put out there", Hesson said.

"I suppose it is always a possibility but one of the strengths of this team from a bowling point of view is that we've always got six options", he told Sky Sports Cricket.

Accurate with the ball and showing a controlled aggression with the bat, England look a settled one-day side and, as shown with Hales coming in for Roy after he suffered a back spasm, they have good depth available to them.

England opener Bairstow scored 138 runs on Wednesday but that ton was in vain after New Zealand forced a fifth and deciding ODI midweek.

New Zealand's 223 all out at Hagley Oval was easily overhauled by England with seven wickets remaining and 104 balls to spare. Henry Nicholls ended a barren series with his sixth ODI half-century, the guts of which came in an 84-run stand with Mitchell Santner, himself going on to his second 50 in three innings.

The win secures a 3-2 win for England in the five-match series, and gives the visitors added momentum to take into the first Test against the Black Caps from March 22 in Auckland.

Woakes removed Colin Munro for his second duck in a row before Mark Wood's patented leap across and angled delivery into the right-hander did for Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson.

Taylor's knock had 17 boundaries and six maximums as New Zealand completed their third highest chase in ODI history.

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But he then applied the accelerator, reaching his half-century from 38 balls and requiring just another 20 to go to his fourth ODI century in his last 15 innings.

Bairstow and Alex Hales put on 155 for the first wicket as England rampaged towards their small target of 224.

Chris Woakes, the man of the series, lead the way with three for 32 off his 10 overs while spinner Adil Rashid finished with three for 42.

They had fortunate escapes with record fourth-wicket partnerships between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham in the victories at Hamilton and Dunedin. In the end, it was Ben Stokes who finished with a couple of very big sixes off Ish Sodhi and stamped England's authority on what was a thoroughly competitive series barring the last game.

Woakes has set the tone for England throughout the series, taking a wicket in his first two overs in every game. To go further back, over the last two years England have lost a single bilateral one-day series, and that was in Fortress India, which is the stuff of which World Cup winners are made.

"The disappointing thing was too many soft dismissals through that middle-order", said Williamson.

"It would be fair to say that my focus hasn't been on four-day cricket this season and my passion for that format of the game isn't what it once was", Munro said via New Zealand Cricket's official website.

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