New Zealand 283-9 (50 overs)
England 192-7 (25 overs)
England clinched the ODI series against the Kiwis yesterday thanks in no small part to the efforts of replacement wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow. The in-form Yorkshireman stepped in when Jos Buttler was ruled out of the match to steer England to an exhilarating 3-wicket victory at Durham, on the Duckworth-Lewis method. That ensured that a pulsating series ended with the perfect result for the home nation leading into the Ashes, as they also took the overall honours 3-2.
Eoin Morgan's side have re-invented themselves in an amazingly short period of time, casting their World Cup debacle to folklore already. Their positivity shone through yet again in the fifth match of a riveting series, as despite wickets tumbling early on in their reply, they still found a way to get the job done.
Slower scoring for Kiwis
New Zealand found the pitch more challenging than the previous ones used during the series, posting a respectable 283-9 from their 50-over allotment. After losing Brendon McCullum with the score on just seven, the Black Caps enjoyed a handy partnership between Martin Guptill (67) and Kane Williamson (50) of 94 to set the innings up. Ross Taylor (47) was again impressive in the middle order, with Grant Elliott (35 from 36 balls) and especially Ben Wheeler (39 not out) accelerating the scoring later on.
Adil Rashid (2-45) was the pick of England's bowlers, the surface suiting him far more than earlier in the series. Ben Stokes (3-52) and David Willey (2-50) weren't far behind though, as Steven Finn (2-73) came in for late punishment.
Given England's recent form, 284 looked to be well within reach. Yet the weather intervened to alter their challenge. The often dreaded names of 'Duckworth' and 'Lewis' decreed that England would face a target of 192 from just 26 overs instead.
That task seemed all the harder as they crashed to 45-5. Morgan has shone for England in the series but seemed to lose his senses, attempting to hoist his first ball off Mitchell Santner into the crowd, but instead finding the safe hands of Guptill. Santner was in the middle of a wonderful spell, picking up the wickets of Alex Hales and Joe Root to finish with figures of 3-31.
The impressive Sam Billings and Bairstow patched up the innings, putting on a vital 80 runs for the sixth wicket. Billings' timely knock of 41 runs from 30 deliveries also helped to keep up with the climbing asking rate.
With Billings gone and then Willey departing soon afterwards, Rashid joined his Yorkshire teammate . The pair needed to gel quickly as at 138-7, the victory was still some way off. However, with a combination of some hefty blows and a good slice of luck, they charged towards the winning post.
Bairstow clinched victory
Fittingly it was Bairstow who scored the winning runs, celebrating the success even before he had made his ground. He hugged Rashid and gesticulated to the heavens, perhaps in memory of his dear departed father, David. No doubt he would have been looking down proudly on his 25-year-old son's 83 from 60 balls, the match-changing innings of the game.With just one Twenty20 match to come between the two sides, it's a shame that the public can't witness more of the battles between these two well-matches sides. But then again there is always the little matter of the Ashes to look forward to, with England #Cricket in a far happier mood after this success.