Jonny Bairstow ton helps England win series against New Zealand

Aaron Brown
March 12, 2018

Bairstow had made 138 in a losing cause in Dunedin four days previously, but his second successive century, this one coming in just 58 balls, anchored his side's successful pursuit of 224.

Bairstow and Alex Hales, a late replacement for the injured Jason Roy, set up the win on Saturday with an imperious 155-run opening stand in Christchurch.

Man of the match Bairstow was eager to give the bowlers the plaudits as well praising their effort throughout the series.

The absence of Ross Taylor, who aggravated his quadriceps injury during his match-winning, unbeaten 180 in the fourth ODI, took the punch out of their middle order. Hales departed three overs later but Joe Root (23 not out) and Ben Stokes, who hit a six to win the game and finish 26 not out, guided England to 229 for three in 32.4 overs without any further hiccups.

Indeed, after thrashing Australia 4-1 in January, this series success can now be added to wins in the past year against West Indies home and away, Ireland and South Africa.

"That's what we're planning on", Bayliss said. "We're 15 months from the World Cup and we are looking for those performances in one-off matches". The series is locked at 2-2. People had spoken about it and compared it to a knockout game potentially in the World Cup next year. "That wasn't good enough from us", stated Bairstow.

"Collectively we weren't where we needed to be so we'll certainly have to look at the balance of things". Finally England got the series as the better team. The most brutal part, which took the result beyond doubt, was a period in which five of eight deliveries he faced from Ish Sodhi were blazed for six.

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It was in that semi-final Bairstow was given the chance to come into the team as a full-time opener.

"I'm absolutely delighted", said Bairstow.

After the first four ODIs, which had the series level at 2-2, England had the New Zealand batsmen well worked out. This was Taylor's second hundred of the series.

Legspinner Adil Rashid (3-42) and Chris Woakes (3-32) spearheaded a disciplined all-round England bowling performance, Tom Curran (2-46), Moeen Ali and Mark Wood also contributing.

New Zealand, sent in to bat, stumbled to 93 for six as the top-order fell with an all-too-familiar regularity before Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner put some steel in the innings with an 84-run stand. Nicholls hit Root's off-spin for six but he top-edged Tom Curran to short leg at an inopportune moment.

Bairstow hit 104 to make a mockery of the Kiwis' under-par 223 all out in a victory achieved with a landslide 17.2 overs to spare, in what had been billed as a showdown decider likely to go down to the wire at Hagley Oval.

In a match which did not live up to its billing as a fitting tussle for a hard-fought series, Bairstow at least ensured a spectacle as he dominated the ruthless chase until he had to go after dislodging his own stumps as he made room to try to dispatch another boundary off Trent Boult.

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