Bairstow scores ton as England crush Black Caps to claim ODI series
England batsman Jonny Bairstow.
Jonny Bairstow hit another century as England wrapped up the One-Day International (ODI) series by strolling to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over New Zealand on Saturday.
England opener Bairstow scored 138 runs on Wednesday but that ton was in vain after New Zealand forced a fifth and deciding ODI midweek.
However, Bairstow's second consecutive hundred – a blistering 104 off 60 deliveries – was enough this time to see the tourists comfortably chase down New Zealand's 223 with 17 overs remaining in Christchurch, England finishing 229-3.
After Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid wreaked havoc with three wickets apiece, Bairstow hit nine fours and six sixes, while fellow opener Alex Hales posted 61 as England cruised to 155 without loss before the former was dismissed hit wicket by Trent Boult (1-50).
Captain Eoin Morgan, who won the toss and opted to bowl first, fell cheaply to Ish Sodhi (1-78) for eight, but the damage was already done as star all-rounder Ben Stokes (26 not out alongside Joe Root's unbeaten 23) scored the winning runs via a six with 104 balls to spare.
New Zealand were dealt a blow hours out from the winner-takes-all ODI when Ross Taylor was ruled out with a leg injury.
Taylor's terrific unbeaten 181 in the fourth ODI forced a winner-takes-all blockbuster, but he was limping throughout the match-winning innings and the Black Caps opted not to risk their star batsman ahead of the upcoming two-Test series.
And his absence was felt as New Zealand's batting line-up crumbled against Woakes (3-32) and Rashid (3-42), despite a career-best 67 from Mitchell Santner and Henry Nicholls' half-century.
The pressure was firmly on the Kiwis in just the first over when opener Colin Munro – who retired from first-class cricket on Friday – edged Woakes through to Jos Buttler for a two-ball duck.
New Zealand then slumped to 26-2 inside 10 overs after Mark Wood (1-26) claimed the scalp of captain Kane Williamson (14), who bottom-edged into leg stump.
It did not get any better for the Black Caps – Tom Latham (10), Mark Chapman (0), Martin Guptill (47) and Colin de Grandhomme (6) as a middle-order collapse left the hosts struggling at 93-6 before an 84-run seventh-wicket stand between Santner and Nicholls (55) helped record a respectable total.
Tom Curran was the next-best bowler for England with 2-46, while all-rounder Moeen Ali (1-39) was also among the wicket-takers.