Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow put up 155-run stand for opening wicket © Getty Images
Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow put up 155-run stand for opening wicket © Getty Images

On a batting friendly pitch, New Zealand were reduced to 223. The England seamers earlier set-up the task cleaning the top-order. The spinners then came to the party and caused the remaining damage. The total wasn’t enough to defend for the New Zealand bowlers. However, Jonny Bairstow came and blasted the Kiwi bowling. He made a joke of the chase scoring England’s third fastest ODI century. Alex Hales notched up a fifty as well. He replaced Jason Roy who was ruled out of the decided following back spasm. With the major task handled by Bairstow and Hales, Joe Root and Ben Stokes took England home in the 33rd over with much ease. With this England have clinched the five-match ODI series by 3-2.

Hales and Bairstow put up a 155-run opening stand between them in a bid to chase 224. Hales was the second wicket to fall when England were on 177 and just 47 runs short of victory. Eoin Morgan was out for eight while Stokes and Root were unbeaten on 26 and 23 respectively.

Bairstow toyed with the best of New Zealand’s bowling stocks and smacked nine fours and six sixes.  He fell trying hit wicket trying to cut a wide Trent Boult delivery and stepped on to the stumps. Hales was at the crease for 74 deliveries for his 61, which included nine boundaries.

Earlier, New Zealand struggled as they were lingering at 93 for 6 in absence of injured Ross Taylor, who had scored a match winning 181* in the fourth ODI. However, Mitchell Santner and Henry Nicholls put on 84 for the seventh wicket to give the innings some substance. Santner, who rescued New Zealand in the first match, hit a personal best 67 while Nicholls was out for 55. Colin Munro went on the second ball he faced, caught behind off Chris Woakes for the third time in five innings. It was a second consecutive duck. Munro got 49 in the third ODI but totalled only seven in the other four innings.

Mark Wood bowled Kane Williamson for 14 before spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali stepped up to decimate the middle of the New Zealand innings. Rashid, who finished with three for 42, accounted for Tom Latham (10), Martin Guptill (47) and Colin de Grandhomme (6). Moeen finished his 10 overs with one for 39, taking the wicket of Taylor’s replacement Mark Chapman for a three-ball duck. Woakes, the most economical of the England bowlers finished with three for 32 off his 10 overs.

The focus will now shift to Tests. Both teams will indulge in two-match Test series with the first one to be played at Eden Park in Auckland for the first time under lights on March 22.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 223 all out in 49.5 overs (Henry Nicholls 55, Mitchell Santner 67; Chris Woakes 3 for 32, Adil Rashid 3 for 42) lose to England 229 for 3 in 32.4 overs (Jonny Bairstow 104, Alex Hales 61; Mitchell Santner 1 for 44) by 7 wickets

Man of the Match: Jonny Bairstow

Man of the Series: Chris Woakes

(Inputs from AFP)