|Ground:||Trent Bridge, Nottingham|
|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||KS Williamson, GD Elliott, JE Root, EJG Morgan|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2015|
By Andy Jalil at Trent Bridge
England level series with stunning win in record chase
Nottingham Rarely has a team been transformed in their style of limited-overs cricket as England have so successfully. After their exit from the World Cup so ignominiously just over two months ago they have the look of world beaters. Having been set a daunting target of 350 runs to win the fourth ODI against New Zealand, they did so with dismissive ease to be home by seven wickets and with six overs to spare.
Leading them in their brilliant display was the captain Eoin Morgan with a marvellous 113 from 82 balls with 78 of those runs coming from boundaries as he dominated the bowling, advancing down the pitch several times for his attacking shots. It was another night of records tumbling. England comfortably beat their previous highest run chase of 304 against Pakistan in Karachi in 2000. They also registered their highest total batting second and it was the joint fourth-best run chase by any country.
This series has been an exhibition of high scores not just as team totals but for individuals as well with 21 scores of 50 or more in four games which is a record for a five-match series in England. Three of Englands six fastest ODI hundreds have been hit in this series. Along with the splendid innings of Morgan was the performance of Joe Root with his sixth ODI unbeaten century and the second of the series. He finished with 106 from 97 balls and the pair put on 198 for the third wicket, Englands highest ODI stand against this opposition.
The assault on the new Zealand bowling by Morgan and Root had been superbly set up by the opening pair, Alex Hales and Jason Roy who rampaged to 100 in 10.4 overs before Hales fell for 67 from 38 balls which included 4 sixes and 7 fours. It was another great display of aggressive batting in which he took 22 in one over from Mitch McClenaghan and in one 14-ball spell he hit 47 runs. The breath-taking performance by England batsmen had come after what would be regarded as a highly commendable innings by New Zealand earlier.
The tourists innings got off to a brisk start, with Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptills hard-hitting stand putting on 88 from 85 balls. Guptill took his score to 30 with 4 fours in a seven-ball period. McCullum was on the attack early reaching 28 with a low trajectory six over long-off. On 88 England claimed the first wicket with McCullum, on 35 from 31 balls edging behind. Just after the hundred had come up from 103 balls, Guptill reached his 23rd ODI half century and the second of the series but with his dismissal New Zealand were 116 for two.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who had put on a brilliant double century stand three days earlier, once again combined in an excellent century partnership off 97 balls. Adil Rashid was brought for the 24th over and he was soon struck for fours with Williamson taking his score to 39 from 31 balls.
After bringing up his 18th ODI half century he increased the tempo and lifted Rashid for a straight six which took him to 69 from 53 balls. His 12th four, driven to long-on, was his last scoring shot. Two balls later, just ten short of a century from only 70 balls, his drive was held at mid-off and New Zealand were 250 for four.
After the fifth wicket fell, there came the explosive stand of 71 from just 32 balls, between Grant Elliott and Mitchell Santner. It was a chastening experience for Rashid who conceded 28 runs in one over which included four sixes all hit by Santner. On 44 from 19 balls, Santner went for yet another big hit but gave a simple catch to deep cover. Five runs after Tim Southee became Ben Stokes second victim on 344, the New Zealand innings ended leaving Elliott unbeaten on 55 from 52 balls, his tenth ODI half century.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)