England cruise to series win

Skipper Alastair Cook top scored for England with 46 in a successful chase

Skipper Alastair Cook top scored for England with 46 in a successful chase

First published in National Sport News © by

England cashed in on a fine performance with the ball and in the field to coast to victory at Eden Park and wrap up the one-day international series 2-1 against New Zealand.

Steven Finn was the driving force as the tourists bowled their hosts out for 185. Even Brendon McCullum's (79) third successive half-century was unable to rescue a defendable total for New Zealand, after England skipper Alastair Cook had won the toss.

It seemed a foregone conclusion that England would make light work of their target, with Cook contributing 46 at the start. In the event they were not flattered by a five-wicket margin, and it was more instructive that they also had 12.3 overs to spare.

Finn's first of three wickets for 27 was his 50th in ODI cricket, and for good measure Graeme Swann was later to take his 100th - only the eighth Englishman to do so in this format. Finn began England's dominance by having BJ Watling caught by Swann at second slip.

Anderson struck with a length ball which held its line and had Kane Williamson edging behind on the back-foot defence. Hamish Rutherford, managed just two runs from 19 balls, eventually falling to Finn by edging to the wicketkeeper.

Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott dug in to attempt a recovery. But after a hard-working stand of 53 in 15 overs, their industry was squandered via a mix-up over a second run which left Elliott sent back and stranded mid-pitch.

When Taylor then became the third caught-behind departure of the innings, McCullum began the second recovery phase but batting partners came and went. James Franklin poked a catch back to a diving Swann, before McCullum's brother Nathan edged the returning Finn to slip at the start of the batting powerplay.

Finn had figures of 8-3-10-3 at that stage, but McCullum punctured his pride by clubbing him for two pulled fours and a six over long-off in successive balls in a ninth over which cost 17. McCullum was last out in only the 44th over when he tried to pull another maximum off Swann but was well held just inside the deep midwicket boundary by Anderson.

England's batsmen were never likely to be taken England out of a comfort zone with such a modest chase, and openers Cook and Ian Bell were soon making a mockery of their opposite numbers' troubles.

Bell mis-pulled Andrew Ellis to be caught at deep midwicket; there was a minor wobble when Jonathan Trott and then Cook both went caught-behind to loose shots in successive overs from Tim Southee (three for 49). Two late wickets jangled a few more nerves, but Eoin Morgan dominated his and Joe Root's 56-run stand to help settle the issue.

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