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Morgan, Stokes help England level series

Ben Stokes (right) scored a half-century and also picked two wickets
Ben Stokes (right) scored a half-century and also picked two wickets

England 225-4 (Stokes 63no) beat
New Zealand 223 (Santner 63no) by six wickets
Second One-Day International at Bay Oval

After a collective bowling effort from England restricted New Zealand to 223 runs, fifties from Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes helped them complete the chase in 37.5 overs with six wickets in hand in the second One-Day International at Bay Oval to level the series 1-1.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson missed the game due to injury and Tim Southee took over the reins while Mark Chapman made his debut for the Black Caps in the 50-over format.

England won the toss and decided to bowl first and the move proved right as Chris Woakes (2-42) struck twice with the new ball to have Colin Munro (1) and Chapman (1) dismissed.

Martin Guptill (50) and Ross Taylor (10) began the consolidation as New Zealand ended the first powerplay with a score of 34 for two. Just as the duo were looking to gain confidence, an indecision in running dented their progress with David Willey (0-16) effecting the run out of Taylor.

Guptill, who played an uncharacteristic inning went on to complete his 34th ODI fifty, needing 84 deliveries for it but soon holed out to deep mid-wicket off Moeen Ali (2-33), who also had Tom Latham (22) dismissed.

With Ben Stokes (2-42) also among the wickets, dismissing Henry Nicholls (1), the home side were left reeling at 108 for six which became 147 for eight after Colin de Grandhomme (38) and Southee (6) were run out.

It was Mitchell Santner (63 not out) once again, who came to the rescue of the side with his 52-ball unbeaten knock that had six boundaries and a six and had brief support from Lockie Ferguson (19) to lift the score to 223 before they were bowled out in 49.4 overs.

Woakes, Moeen and Stokes all picked two wickets apiece for England, while they also effected four run outs in the innings to add to New Zealand's woes.

England got off to a steady start of 14 runs in the first three overs before Trent Boult (2-46) had Jason Roy (8) caught at square leg. Jonny Bairstow (37) looked positive with three boundaries and a six in the next four overs but England suffered another setback when Joe Root (9) became Boult's second victim as the visitors ended the first powerplay with a score of 47 for two.

Morgan (62) looked positive from the outset and when severe on Boult when he smashed him for a hat-trick of boundaries in the 12th over and also plundered a six off Santner (0-40) in the next over.

Both Morgan and Bairstow shared a swift 39 run stand for the third wicket that was ended by Lockie Ferguson (1-48) dismissing the latter. However, Morgan continued to press on the New Zealand attack and with Stokes (62 not out) at the other end, the duo plundered 88 runs on the fourth wicket to put them in course of victory.

Morgan went on to complete his 35th ODI fifty needing 48 deliveries for it before chipping a return catch to Munro (1-23). Nevertheless, Stokes and Jos Buttler (36 not out) saw England through the chase in the 38th over with six wickets in hand to level the five-match series 1-1.

Stokes was named the man of the match for his half-century and also claiming two wickets.

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