At Christchurch, February 23, 2008 (day/night). New Zealand won by 34 runs (D/L method). Toss: New Zealand. One-day international debut: D. R. Flynn.
A drawn series was the best England could hope for, but New Zealand put paid to that as another remarkable stand by Ryder and McCullum set up a rain-affected victory. The pair had been the essential difference between the teams throughout the series, and here their 103 from 11 overs made a target of 243 look easy. Rain ended the contest with New Zealand 34 ahead of par, to claim the series 3-1. The turnaround from the Twenty20 contests, which England won convincingly, to their 50-over capitulation had been as complete as it was emphatic. Their failure to launch within the powerplays was a harkback to their World Cup misadventure, leaving them with much to ponder. For New Zealand, Vettori ended the series ranked as the world's best one- day bowler; McCullum's 77 from 43 balls showed why he had just gone for $US700,000 in the Indian Premier League auction; while Ryder had established himself as a player of huge promise - but he lost his chance in the Tests when he severed tendons by putting his right hand through a window after drinking late into the night.
Man of the Match: B. B. McCullum. Attendance: 14,950.
© John Wisden & Co.