England make short work of massive target to level series
England 350-3 (Morgan 113) beat
New Zealand 349-7 (Williamson 90) by seven wickets
Fourth One-Day International in Nottingham
Eoin Morgan and Joe Root hit blistering centuries as England recorded the biggest successful chase in all One-Day Internationals in England making short work of a massive target of 350 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge to level the series 2-2.
New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first on a belter of a track.
After a relatively sedate start of 38 for no loss in seven overs, Martin Guptill (53) hit a four on either side of a tough caught and bowled opportunity shelled by Steven Finn (1-51).
Brendon McCullum (35) had his share of luck too, with Jos Buttler dropping a difficult one as New Zealand reached 88 for no loss after 13 overs.
However McCullum was the first to go nicking a back of a length delivery from Mark Wood (1-49).
Root dropped a regulation catch at short midwicket to give Guptill another life.
However, he couldn’t make the most of the lives, eventually getting out after reaching his half-century, Finn taking a fine catch running back from midwicket.
The form players for New Zealand, Kane Williamson (90) and Ross Taylor (42), were at it yet again, adding 101 runs in the next 16 overs.
New Zealand reached 148 for two after 25 overs and that is when the real acceleration came along.
Williamson brought up another fifty with a single off Ben Stokes (2-73). New Zealand managed 215 for two after 34 overs but lost Taylor on the stroke of the batting power-play, Finn trapping him lbw after being brought back.
New Zealand started the power-play well with 11 runs off Wood in the first over. However, Finn bowled a maiden the next over and Wood came back to give away just two more in the 38th over.
Grant Elliott (55 not out) finally broke the shackles with a six off Finn’s last ball in the 39th.
Wood was terrific again giving away just three runs in the 40th, New Zealand managing just 24 in the power-play overs.
Williamson was out one more time in the nineties, picking out mid-on and Luke Ronchi (8) was gone soon after cheaply and at that point New Zealand were losing all their steam.
However, Mitchell Santner (44) played a wonderful 20-ball cameo as he added 71 with Elliott in just 30 balls.
Elliott managed a six and two fours off David Willey (2-89) but then Santner, in the 48th over, hammered 28 runs off Abdul Rashid (1-75) including three sixes.
Rashid came back well to give away just five runs in the 50th over. Eventually, New Zealand reached 349 for six in their 50 overs, although they seemed on target to hit a lot more.
Wood and Finn were outstanding for England, going at five per over between them.
Ben Wheeler (0-75) started with a maiden but Jason Roy (38) and Alex Hales (67) smacked him for 17 in his second over as England got away to a blazing start.
There were some short interruptions because of rain but the England openers did well to keep their focus.
Hales hammered two more sixes behind square off short deliveries from Wheeler following it up with consecutive fours off Tim Southee (1-70).
Mitchell McClenaghan’s (0-64) first over was the big one though as Hales hammered him for 22 runs, including two fours and two massive sixes.
England reached 97 for no loss in 10 overs. However, Matt Henry (2-77) got Hales after the latter charged him and dragged one on to the stumps.
Roy followed him quickly falling to Henry again drilling one straight to extra cover.
But Morgan (113) and Joe Root (106 not out) then put on a record partnership for England against New Zealand adding 198 in just 158 balls to put England firmly in control of the game and on track.
Root was dropped on 13 by Taylor at slip and that proved to be an expensive mistake.
Morgan was in sensational form, becoming the first English skipper to hit four half-centuries in one ODI series, doing so with three fours off Southee and bringing up his 50 in just 39 balls.
England raced away to 238 for two after 30 overs.
Morgan took off from there on, smacking Wheeler for a four and six in the first over of the power-play.
The next over, Morgan hammered Henry for two sixes and a four to bring up his century in just 73 balls.
The England captain eventually fell in the 40th over, hooking a slower delivery from Southee straight to deep fine leg as England reached 315 for three after 40 overs needing just 35 from 60 balls.
Eventually Joe Root (106 not out) reached his century as well and Stokes (19 not out) finished off the game in a hurry, England reaching 350 for three in just 44 overs.
England have now levelled the series 2-2 with one more game to go.
© Cricket World 2015