From getting knocked out after the first round of the 2015 to putting up a great show in the 5 match series against New Zealand, the England ODI Team has come a long way in the recent few months. As skipper Eoin Morgan said a few days back, result doesn’t matter but the performance of the team does, the Poms stole the show in the past 2 weeks with some aggressive brand of cricket, which is not often associated with them.
England made a great comeback from 54-5 in 8 overs to chasing down their target of 192 in 26 overs and they did it with an over to spare in the fifth and final ODI at Chester-Le-Street. With this win, England clinch the series 3-2, their first series win at home in a while. After a rain interruption during the mid-innings break, England were a revised target of 192 in 26 overs courtesy Duckworth-Lewis method. Their batsmen started to take on the bowlers from the word go but failed in doing so as Mitchell Santner led Kiwis to reduce the hosts foe 45-5 in 8 overs before Sam Billings and Jonny Bairstow, the replacement for regular wicketkeeper Jos Buttler rescued England. They took their time to settle in before they began the counter attack.
The duo put on 80 runs in just over 9 overs before Billings was caught by Ross Taylor off Matt Henry. Pacer David Willey too departed soon after and that left Bairstow and Adil Rashid in the crease as the hosts needed 54 to win in 9 overs. It was when Bairstow cut loose and in the company of Rashid, Bairstow reached his fifty and few overs later, he took his side home. Bairstow remained unbeaten on 83 off 60 balls. Santner was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with figures of 3-31 in 6 overs.
Earlier, put into bat, New Zealand lost their skipper Brendon McCullum in the first over of the innings before Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson did the repair works. Both scored fifties and along with some useful contributions from Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott and Ben Wheeler, New Zealand managed to put 283 on the board in 50 overs.
Jonny Bairstow, who was a last minute replacement for Buttler was the Player of the Match while Kane Williamson, who scored 396 runs in five innings with an average of 79.20 has been named the Player of the series.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 283 for 9 (Martin Guptill 67, Kane Williamson 50, Ben Stokes 3-52) lost to England 192 for 7 (Jonny Bairstow 83*, Mitchell Santner 3-31) by three wickets through D/L method.