The rain clouds finally relented, the skies turned blue, and beneath the shadow of Lumley Castle, from where one liked to imagine that Lord Scarbrough might have been glowering down on the floodlights he fruitlessly opposed, Jonny Bairstow emphatically restated his credentials as an England cricketer.

Forget the fact this was an artificial run chase reliant on rain recalculations. For Bairstow, a natural in an England side of adventurous spirit, it signalled an end to 18 months of pent-up frustration.

Bring on Bairstow: Yorkshire's Redheaded Beast. From 40 for 4, England seemed to have looked a Duckworth Lewis Stern rain recalculation in the eye and perished. Bairstow stared down the three-headed monster. He fought its lion's head, goat's body and snake's tail and when it was all over, with England victors by three wickets with an over to spare, and an unbeaten 80 to his name, he hugged his Yorkshire team mate, Adil Rashid, with unabashed emotion. There might even have been a bit of shoulder biting in there.

What can you conclude from any match where DLS intervenes to such a degree? In Bairstow's case, much more than normal. This mattered to him, and perhaps to England, the final batting bonus of a series full of them. "There is some exciting talent there amongst their group and they're going to be a tough team over the next few years," said Brendon McCullum, New Zealand's captain, generous to the end. Bairstow, albeit only briefly, is now among that number.

Many who have not witnessed him since his last England appearance (ignoring a rain-damaged affair in Ireland last month), in two Tests when the 2013-14 Ashes were already lost, must have been struck that this is one hugely improved cricketer, a batsman of power, range and game sense. Not since his ODI debut against India four years ago when he struck 41 not out on a wet night in Cardiff will he have inspired such hope.

"I'm without doubt capable of doing a very, very, very good job for England," he had asserted 48 hours before a call which came courtesy of a hand injury suffered in fielding practice by Jos Buttler. You could sense those verys at the start of his innings as he classily lofted Mitchell Santner over mid-on, in a well-regulated middle period, alongside the eager Sam Billings, as he twice drove Grant Elliott down the ground, and in the final rush as he forearm smashed a short ball from Andrew Mathieson through extra cover.

He struck a nice chord, too, in his post-match interview, a task he does not enjoy, showing a modesty suited to a late addition to the England squad. "It is these guys who have worked really hard and to top it off is really special," he said. "I am pleased with the way I am playing, but selection is out of my hands. To do this was really special."

Even matches decided by DLS have their appeal. This was an artificial culmination to a happy, stroke-filled series that had delivered the highest number of runs ever seen in a five-match ODI series, 3151, beating the 2963 logged by India and Pakistan in 2003-04, the most sixes - 76 - and the fewest maidens. Probably the fewest dot balls, too, and you can be sure that someone, somewhere, will be counting them. English crowds have been drowned in the honey of huge run chases and have gorged upon them with pleasure.

But Bairstow would have stomped out determinedly if the umpires had informed him that the DLS tables had ruled that fielding discs must be replaced with concrete bollards and that he must bat standing on his head with his legs tied together while signing the Birdie Song.

His partnership of 80 in 57 balls with Sam Billings was all the more intriguing because it was arguably Billings who pipped him to a place in the original squad. Dropped twice, on 39 and 56, Santner having three grabs at the second opportunity as he stared into the sun at long-on, he heard the cheers of the crowd and felt - perhaps for the first time in an England shirt - that the force was with him.

Excitement had initially seemed unlikely as the rain cleared. As announcements from the admirable press box scorers go, this one did not hold promise. "It appears that I have been using Duckworth Lewis DL 4.0 when calculations of the run chase are actually being made on its replacement: Duckworth Lewis Stern 1.0." That was the gist anyway. Somebody shoot me now.

But there was fun to be had as England chased 192 in 26 overs, and there was professional satisfaction, too, not just for Bairstow. Santner's three wickets in seven balls after opening the bowling removed the cream of English batting - Alex Hales, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan - and concluded a highly promising debut international series. Replacing Dan Vettori is a considerable challenge, but with ball and bat this young allrounder has suggested he might have what it takes.

Then there was the remarkable introduction of Mathieson, summoned from Sidmouth CC on the Devon coast, who took a wicket with his first ball in international cricket. A left-field selection that nobody had seen coming, he dashed in, no name on the back of his shirt, wanged a ball halfway down the pitch and left Jason Roy entirely transfixed as he hung out his bat in confusion. Bairstow was not transfixed: Bairstow was grateful.

It is illustrative of the unpopularity of DLS that no company has ever asked to sponsor it. It would be an invitation to bankruptcy. When it comes to denial of the efficacy of run-rate tables, nobody can match Ian Botham. "And how many Test caps have they got?" was his rejoinder on Sky TV when told of a rain recalculation that some felt cost England the game at the Kia Oval.

Morgan also suggested the system had not evolved in pace with the game, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it had been updated in time for the World Cup, revised in November last year by Steve Stern a statistics professor and computer programmer at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Behind the stands, none of the jockeys or nuns, nor people wrapped in polythene to keep out the rain, nor those queueing for the burger bars and the beer outlets, seemed to care over much about the respective benefits of DL4.0 or DLS1.0.

"What are we chasing? 192 in 26? That sounds a lot". A calculation not made after studying DLS formulae but merely calculated by that age-old sporting method: home-team bias, like shouting for a clear-cut penalty or demanding a sending off.

But while they roared for Bairstow, the mathematicians deserved congratulations. Rain makes a mess of one-day cricket and they extricate us from that mess as best they can. In an era when professional knowledge in countless professions receives scant respect from people who value only their own sense of entitlement, the fact is the mathematicians know a lot more than we do. We should be grateful for their expertise. Jonny Bairstow will certainly think so.