England have secured a narrow 4-run win in the low-scoring thriller in the third ODI against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium, Wellington to take 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
New Zealand sent England to bat first on a slow wicket. England lost Jason Roy, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow cheaply after a slow start. Skipper Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes put on 71-run stand for the fourth-wicket.
Morgan made 48 off 71 with 3 fours and a six. England collapsed in the last ten overs of the innings. An uncharacteristic Stokes scored 39 runs from 73 deliveries with just two fours. Jos Buttler smashed 29 off 23. Moeen Ali got 23 from 19.
England were bowled out for 234 runs in 50 overs. They lost their last six wickets for 66 runs. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi had a lot of purchase from the pitch as he scalped 3 for 53. Trent Boult took 2 for 47.
In reply, Martin Guptill departed scoring 3 runs. Colin Munro put on 68 runs with captain Kane Williamson. Munro scored 49 off 62 balls hitting 7 boundaries. England spinners got New Zealand collapse 2/97 to 6/103 in no time.
Williamson anchored the innings with Mitchell Santner. They added 96 runs for the seventh-wicket. Santner fell in an unfortunate run out dismissal after contributing 54-bal 41.
Blackcaps skipper brought up his 11th century in 133 balls. He also completed his 5000 ODI runs in the match.
The match was a nail-bitter as New Zealand required 15 runs in the last over sith two wickets remaining. With 5 runs being needed on the last ball, Chris Woakes nailed a wide yorker which Williamson missed. England won by 4 runs. Williamson remained unbeaten on 112* runs from 143 balls including 6 fours and 2 sixes.
Ali bagged three wickets for the visitors. Adil Rashid and Woakes took two each.
England 234 allout in 50 overs (Morgan 48, Stokes 39; Sodhi 3/53, Boult 2/47)
New Zealand 230/8 in 50 overs (Williamson 112*, Munro 49; Ali 3/36, Rashid 2/34)
England won by 4 runs
Man of the Match: Moeen Ali
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com