New Zealand v England: Tourists clinch victory in ODI series

Last Updated: 23/02/13 7:25pm

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England secured victory in their one-day international series with New Zealand after cruising to a five-wicket victory in the third and final contest at Eden Park.

After winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Steven Finn led the way with 3-27 as England dismissed New Zealand for 185 in just 43.5 overs despite an explosive 79 from Brendon McCullum.

Skipper Alastair Cook then top-scored with 46 as England knocked off the target with relative ease, Tim Southee's figures of 3-48 doing little to interrupt the tourists' march to victory.

England's new-ball pair had immediately put New Zealand on the back foot with three wickets inside the mandatory powerplay, Finn striking with just his fourth ball when he had BJ Watling caught at second slip by Graeme Swann.

He also removed Hamish Rutherford for just two, while in between Kane Williamson (seven) edged Anderson through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott did their best to launch a recovery with a stand of 53, only for the former to then run his partner out for 24 with some poor calling.

Stuart Broad (2-38) then had Taylor controversially caught behind for 28 - the third umpire backing up his on-field colleague despite 'Hot Spot' showing no contact with the bat - as the Kiwis slumped to 67-5 in the 25th over.

It was once again left to McCullum to boost his team's final total, the right-hander hitting six fours and five sixes as he fought a lone hand against England.

His one-man onslaught was eventually ended by a fine catch by Anderson out on the mid-wicket boundary, giving Swann his second wicket of the innings. It meant New Zealand had failed to use 37 deliveries.

England's batsmen were never likely to be taken out of a comfort zone with such a modest chase, and openers Cook and Ian Bell soon put things firmly on track

Bell (24) mis-pulled first-change Andrew Ellis (2-35) to be caught at deep midwicket and there was a minor wobble when Jonathan Trott (38) and Cook were both caught behind to loose shots in successive overs from Southee.

But a stand of 56 between Eoin Morgan (39) and Joe Root (28 not out) helped settle the issue with 12.3 overs to spare.

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