But New Zealand still won the series 2-1, inflicting the first home one-day series loss in four years on England, after having beaten Alastair Cook’s team at Lord's and Southampton by five wickets and 86 runs, respectively. England, meanwhile, will be pleased for having gained some much-need momentum ahead of its Champions Trophy opener against Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.
New Zealand, chasing 288 for victory on Wednesday, finished on 253 all out, England finally getting the better of the man-of-the-series, Martin Guptill. The New Zealand opener had scored successive centuries after he was dropped on 13 in both the previous matches. On Wednesday, Guptill could only manage 38 before a James Trewell offbreak rattled his stumps. Tredwell was playing in place of fellow spinner Graeme Swann -- one of the four changes to the England team.
Ross Taylor kept New Zealand in the hunt with 71 off 84 balls including three sixes and two fours -- his third fifty of the series. His last two sixes came off successive Tredwell deliveries, Finn failing to palm back the first before the next ball soared high over his head at deep mid-wicket.
But going for three in a row, Taylor was out when Finn threw the ball to Tim Bresnan who completed the catch. That left the tourists needing 53 from their last-wicket pair of Kyle Mills and Mitchell McClenaghan to complete an improbable victory. But when McClenaghan holed out, England had won with 21 balls to spare.
Earlier, Ian Bell top scored with 82 but, at 210 for 5 in the 46th over, it seemed England had fallen short of a competitive score. But Eoin Morgan (49) and Buttler boosted the total to 287 for 6, courtesy of a 62-run partnership. Buttler, the 22-year-old wicket-keeper, hit six fours and three sixes.
Cook not only lost the toss, he also quickly got out lbw to left-arm seamer McClenaghan for nought. Bell was in command till he mistimed a drive off McClenaghan low to mid-off as a 96-ball innings featuring a six and six fours finished tamely. Buttler, however, went hammer and tongs from the start, striking seamer Mills over long-on for six off only his third ball. Next ball he produced a trademark scoop shot for four over short fine leg and the ball after that deposited Mills between mid-wicket and square leg. The fourth ball of the over was reverse-scooped over short third man for yet another boundary. Although he missed the fifth ball, the sixth was smashed back over Mills's head for four more as 22 runs came off the 48th over, the most expensive of the innings.