Moeen Ali voted man of the match

Lynette PayneMar 05, 2018

He came into the attack at 80-1 and his first ball was struck for six over mid-wicket by Williamson who had received good support from Worcestershire T20 Blast 2014 and 2015 player Colin Munro (49).

However, a typically-adroit Kane Williamson (112*) century took the match to the final over, yet the New Zealand captain could only muster ten of the 15 runs required for victory, meaning his opponents now move to the penultimate match with a chance of sealing the series.

The ugly Westpac Stadium, known locally as the Cake Tin because of its bland, round design, had provided an equally unattractive drop-in pitch that saw England severely tested in battling to a just about par 234 all out.

From there he was more circumspect to reach 41 before being run out when a Chris Woakes attempt to stop a Williamson drive deflected off the bowler's fingertips and on to the stumps, with Santner caught out of his crease. There was fine death bowling from Woakes and Tom Curran for England.

The first warning came from Trent Boult's opening delivery to Jonny Bairstow, which leapt at the batsman and was popped straight up in the air, falling short of Boult's desperate follow through.

And yet considering all the run-friendly surfaces around the game, having the odd one on which the batsmen has to work overtime is not necessarily a bad thing.

Morgan (48) and Ben Stokes (39) had been England's two main run-getters. Ben Stokes milked it well; Martin Guptill just tried to play his shots and got out."Kane Williamson deserved to be in a successful chase but his middle order let him down".

Stokes was caught in the deep off Sodhi (3-53) with around 10 overs remaining but Jos Buttler (29), Ali (23), Woakes (16) and Rashid (11) bumped up England's total before the innings ended with three run outs.

Trent Boult - 8/10 - With his opening partner, Southee, Boult went hunting for a wicket early on, and made the breakthrough with the wicket of Roy. Boult made it hard for the batsmen on a bowler-friendly pitch, and finished with 2-47 from his 10 overs.

Curiously there appeared little of the uneven bounce when New Zealand batted and they were well on top until Stokes decided he had to have the crucial say in another tight encounter. The all-rounder finished with mesmerising figures of 1-24 from 10 overs, but was ineffective with the bat.

Rashid then had Henry Nicholls (0) lbw and Colin De Grandhomme (3) hoicked Moeen to long on to leave New Zealand reeling.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi was a touch more expensive than might have been wanted but took three wickets and bowled well. Our plans kept changing as we lost wickets.

Rain is forecast in Dunedin for Monday and Tuesday before the skies clear on match day at a venue where the Black Caps have won all six ODIs, the latest by 183 runs over Pakistan in January.

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