Jonny Bairstow belted his second successive century as England completely outplayed New Zealand in a seven-wicket victory in their final One-day International (ODI) at Hagley Oval on Saturday to clinch the five-match series 3-2. His fourth in the format and second in four days secured a 3-2 win, also putting him on the podium as third fastest scored by an Englishman in ODIs.
However, it was Bairstow, striking nine fours and six sixes during a brutal 60-ball knock, who stole the show.
Mark Chapman, back in place of injured lynchpin Ross Taylor, failed to score before trying to dab rather than defend a length ball from Moeen Ali - and paid with the loss of his off-bail.
"Woakes has been outstanding, he contributes a huge amount for us down the order, and leads the line with the ball". It's worth noting that all four of those hundreds have come since his ascension as opener. Bairstow reached three figures from 58 balls, moving from 50 to 100 in just 20 balls.
Alex Hales, back in the team as an opener for the first time since last summer after Jason Roy was ruled out with a back spasm, also gave the selectors something to think about with a composed 61 from 74 deliveries as England cruised to their target with 17.2 overs to spare. Dropped at the start of the series, with head coach Trevor Bayliss anxious a lack of red ball cricket could be detrimental to his game, his measured 61 offers others reassurance and him credit in the bank. He stepped outside his leg stump to slash a ball from Trent Boult through the off side but chopped down on his own stumps and stared for a moment, disbelieving before trudging from the crease.
England's domination began at the start of the day when Morgan won the toss and elected to bowl.
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A rather freaky series for Colin Munro summed up in his final outing as he bagged yet another duck as Woakes snaffled him in the very first over.
"The important thing is, if you take wickets up front, you naturally stem that flow of runs".
"Both of them are match-winners at the top".
Three years after being the finalist in the 2015 World Cup, where it lost to Australia, New Zealand is now struggling to get an innings underway as it builds towards the showpiece in England next year. They were tottering at 93 for 6 and it was only thanks to the 84-run stand between Mitchell Santner (67) and Henry Nicholls (55) that the Kiwis crossed the 200-run mark.
England's captain Eoin Morgan after his team's series win.
In all five ODI innings against England, New Zealand had to rely on a handful of individual performances to get them through with two centuries by Taylor, one from Kane Williamson and an impressive total of 216 runs by number eight batsman Santner.