New Zealand beat England by 13 runs in a high-scoring, rain-affected encounter at The Oval on Friday. Choosing to bat first, the Kiwis posted a mammoth 398/5 in 50 overs, riding on Ross Taylor’s 96-ball 119 and Kane Williamson’s 88-ball 93.
England were given a revised D/L target of 379 from 46 overs, after a brief rain interruption during the 44th over. However, the target proved to be too big for the hosts, who subsequently fell short by 13 runs.
New Zealand bat first, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor go big
A characteristic blitzkrieg from Brendon McCullum ensured that the Kiwis were off to a flying start at The Oval. When the skipper was dismissed after a quickfire 22-ball 39, the scoreboard read 61/1 in 7.2 overs. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson then took charge of the innings and kept the runs flowing from both ends. Guptill was dismissed soon after reaching a fluent half century. However, Williamson kept going and found an ideal partner in Ross Taylor during the middle overs.
It was the 121-run stand for the 3rd wicket between Taylor and Williamson, that defined New Zealand’s batting in this match. While Williamson was unfortunate to fall short of a well-deserved ton by 7 runs, Ross Taylor went on to score a mesmerizing century. Luke Ronchi, Grant Elliott and Mitchell Santner chipped in with useful cameos to propel New Zealand close to 400!
England construct chase brilliantly, rain plays spoilsport
Alex Hales (54 off 49) and Jason Roy (39 off 37) got England off to a brilliant start, stitching together an opening partnership of 85 in 12.3 overs. Much was expected of Joe Root, but the charismatic batsman failed to get going this time.
The stage was however set for skipper Eoin Morgan who came up with one of his finest ODI knocks in this match. Ben Stokes and Jos Butler offered useful support from the other end and brightened England’s prospects of chasing down the mammoth total.
However, both Morgan and Butler fell in quick succession even before the score could transcend the 300-run mark. The batting powerplay yielded just 36 runs and cost England 2 valuable wickets.
Thereafter, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett tried to keep England alive with a 76-run stand for the 8th wicket. England needed 54 off 37 balls with Plunkett and Rashid in full flow when rain interrupted play. Upon resumption of action, Nathan McCullum doused all English hopes with a double strike in the 45th over. The wily spinner got rid of both Rashid and Plunkett in that over and virtually won the game for his team.
Man of the Match – Ross Taylor
Scorecard – New Zealand (398/5 in 50 overs, Ross Taylor 119* (96), Ben Stokes 2/66) beat England (365/9 in 46 overs, Eoin Morgan 88 (47), Nathan McCullum 3/86).