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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Bairstow, bowlers lead England charge to series

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Highlights - NZ wilt under Bairstow's 58-ball ton (4:16)

England's bowlers set things up by restricting New Zealand to 223 and then ceded to stage to some fantastic strokeplay (4:16)

England 229 for 3 (Bairstow 104, Hales 61) beat New Zealand 223 (Santner 67, Nicholls 55, Woakes 3-32, Rashid 3-42) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After the drama in Dunedin this was a canter in Christchurch. England surged to a seven-wicket victory with 17.2 overs to spare to secure their sixth one-day series win a row. Jonny Bairstow made mincemeat of the chase with a 58-ball century, England's third-fastest and his second in consecutive innings, adding 155 in 20.2 overs for the first wicket alongside the recalled Alex Hales.

The absence of Ross Taylor, who was ruled out on the morning of the game with the quad injury he sustained during his unbeaten 181, was too much for New Zealand to compensate for, especially with their captain Kane Williamson failing.

England's new ball pair, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood, set a superb tone and it was backed up by the spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. At 93 for 6 it looked as though New Zealand could fold completely, but Mitchell Santner's outstanding series with the bat continued and a stand of 84 with Henry Nicholls at least took them over 200. Although the mood England's top-order are in, 400 may not have been enough.

There was barely an alarm for England as they knocked off the runs in the sunshine. They have been tested more in this series than many of late, and have slipped occasionally, but such a comprehensive win in a decider is a feather in their cap.

Bairstow and Hales, who was handed a late opportunity in the series when Jason Roy went down with a back spasm, were level-pegging for the first eight overs of the chase, then Bairstow pulled away at top speed. He took 16 off Colin de Grandhomme's third over, went to fifty from 38 balls and then really cut loose. He hammered five sixes in eight balls against Ish Sodhi with crisp, clean striking - although none of them were taken in the crowd to win a fan 50,000 dollars.

Bairstow moved to 99 with a pull behind square then dabbed a single to third man to sit behind Jos Buttler (46 balls) and Moeen Ali (53 balls) in England's quickest centuries before smashing his own stumps trying to manufacture some width against Trent Boult. He has now made four in 16 innings as an opener and has the spot nailed down, although who his long-term partner will be is perhaps more of a debate.

Roy's injury gave Hales his first outing since announcing he would become a white-ball specialist. Although the pressure was never on in the chase, it was a good effort to play so confidently having not batted for three weeks. He went to his fifty from 67 balls but was then cut off by a fine catch from Williamson at midwicket. By then, however, the result was a formality. There was just time for Ben Stokes to finish the chase in style in the city of his birth.

It is the third time in a year that New Zealand have lost a deciding ODI following reversals against South Africa at home and India away. As against South Africa at Eden Park a year ago, this was a very poor performance with everything to play for.

England were able to take their preferred route when Eoin Morgan won the toss. There was a little early movement and his decision was backed up by fine opening spells from Woakes and Wood.

Colin Munro had announced in the build-up that he would no longer play first-class cricket and his first day as an official white-ball specialist did not start well when he got a big a top edge against Woakes while trying to work into the leg side. Other than his 49 in Wellington, it has been a single-digit series for Munro with scores of 6, 1, 0 and 0.

Woakes has produced outstanding first spells throughout: 5-0-14-2, 5-1-18-2, 5-1-13-1, 5-2-14-1 and 6-1-13-1, Morgan giving him the extra over here after Williamson departed in the 10th. It was a smart piece of bowling from Wood to dismiss the New Zealand captain, delivered from wider on the crease and cramping him for room, taking a bottom edge into leg stump.

Then, not for the first time, New Zealand stumbled against England's spinners. Tom Latham, promoted to No. 4 ahead of Taylor's replacement, Mark Chapman, fell to a soft shot, chipping Rashid to midwicket although it was a nicely flighted delivery which brought the error. Chapman's stay was very brief. He played back to a delivery from Moeen Ali which straightened a touch but Chapman missed it by an alarming amount to be bowled.

When Stokes held a stinging, low catch at cover to remove Martin Guptill and de Grandhomme wastefully lofted to long-on, New Zealand were in a hole. Morgan's tactics were interesting. Having bowled both Rashid and Moeen straight through their 10 overs, the innings was deep with very little of the fifth bowler used. Joe Root was then introduced for two overs and Tom Curran did not get his first bowl until the 40th over and was used for six consecutive overs at the death.

Nicholls' fifty came from 73 balls before he skied a Curran slower ball into the off side. Santner was by far the more fluent, bringing up a 60-ball half-century and setting a new career-best for the second time in four matches before Woakes became the first England bowler to dismiss him in the series when Hales made excellent ground at deep midwicket. But if that was good, Bairstow's grab, running around the leg-side boundary two balls later, taking it one-handed moving at full pace to remove Tim Southee, was something special. Bairstow, though, wasn't finished there.

England 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st155AD HalesJM Bairstow
2nd22AD HalesJE Root
3rd15EJG MorganJE Root
4th37JE RootBA Stokes