Bairstow century powers England to series victory

12 March 2018, 03:31 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Jonny Bairstow celebrates

Jonny Bairstow stars with the bat as England seal seven-wicket ODI win and series victory over New Zealand

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that team-mate Colin Munro will focus on white-ball cricket going forward.

Ross Taylor batted through a painful leg injury to make a valiant 181 not out and guide New Zealand to a five-wicket win over England in the fourth one-day cricket global Wednesday, leveling the five-match series at 2-2.

The hard-hitting Aucklander has proven a success opening at worldwide level in Twenty20s, but there are question marks about his ability to balance the tempo of an ODI innings and poor decision making.

New Zealand's meagre 223 all out at Hagley Oval in Christchurch was easily overhauled by England with seven wickets remaining and 104 balls to spare.

England welcome Alex Hales back into the XI for the series-deciding match after Jason Roy was ruled out due to back spasms.

Munro will continue prioritising playing for New Zealand and Auckland in the Twenty20 and 50-over formats, but will not play four-day cricket or in the upcoming New Zealand XI warm-ups against England.

New Zealand won't play in another ODI series until October when they face Pakistan. Instead of England, New Zealand brought balance to the tournament by winning the same two matches. After that, they'll have a further 11 ODIs next home summer against Sri Lanka (3), India (5) and Bangladesh (3) before the 2019 World Cup in England, beginning in late May.

"It went a long way to making light work of our total".

Tim Southee didn't have a great series with the ball against England, taking two wickets at an average of 128.

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"Throughout this series, there were some very good one-off performances, but it probably overshadowed a batting line-up that hasn't quite fired".

"The way the guys have taken wickets early on has enabled us to turn the screws in the middle", Bairstow said.

"Following that was always hard to do, but I think we did that".

Former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney on Test Match Special: "New Zealand's middle order looked to me as though they didn't know how to defend spin bowling, let alone attack it. Chapman's dismissal was bad".

Despite Nicholls and Santner's efforts, New Zealand were not able to recover from a poor start.

Mitchell Santner, much maligned in some quarters, was a revelation with the bat and quietened many of his critics.

He encouraged them to keep the pressure on New Zealand on Saturday, with Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root hitting top form. The series is locked at 2-2.

The final match of the series is in Christchurch on Saturday. "You never win a game like that in the first 10 overs but you certainly do lose it". They lost three wickets where their player Jonny Bairstow scored a century in the match and got player of the match award. It was a good wicket, we needed to just set those little goals along the way and give ourselves a chance.

"We were consistent in our selection throughout".

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