Lower-order batting collapse and lapses on the field costs England
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor hit centuries to lead New Zealand to a three-wicket victory against England, the visitors going 2-1 up in the One-Day International series after the third game on Sunday (June 14) in Southampton.
England will rue the 28 balls it left unplayed, as it was bowled out in 45.2 overs, and the dropped catches during a New Zealand record third-wicket stand between Williamson and Taylor, but Brendon McCullum’s men were always ahead in the exchange.
Half an hour after England elected to bat, the New Zealand swingers haddismissed Alex Hales and Jason Roy, the openers. When Eoin Morgan, the captain, walked out to join Joe Root, 400 looked a long way off.
Some consolidation was called for, and the two batsmen set the ball rolling as they put on 109 in 19 overs to get England to 138 at the 25-over mark. New Zealand’s young attack didn’t panic and picked up wickets regularly, disrupting England’s charge towards 350 whenever it looked likely.
England’s batsmen came, smashed around, and left in quick order (only the Morgan-Root partnership lasted more than 30 minutes) and, all of a sudden, it was all out for 302 having lost its last five wickets in 22 balls for 14 runs.
Ben Stokes was the standout again, smiting 68 from 47 balls, playing with the confidence we have grown accustomed to. Stokes found good support from Morgan (71 off 82) and the biffer Sam Billings, who played some extraordinary strokes in a quickfire 34.
Tim Southee (3 for 44) was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers, finding movement early on, but there was also an impressive debut from left-arm seamer Wheeler (3 for 63), who had earned his call-up after good performances in the tour matches.
England’s game plan was to bowl fuller and straighter than the New Zealanders and reward came quickly with Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum dismissed lbw inside the first seven overs.
But that only brought together the form men of the series – Williamson and Taylor – the only New Zealanders to have scored more than 50 in an innings so far. They, not without some help from England’s fielders, proceeded to pick off the bowling at will, barely playing a shot in anger, to add 206. These two have now scored 66% of New Zealand’s runs in this series.
Williamson eventually went for 118 and Taylor 110 and, despite a quick clatter of late wickets, the result was never in doubt. The series heads to Trent Bridge on Wednesday for the fourth game.
To see the full scorecard of this game, please click here.