England holds its nerve to win


Williamsons’ unbeaten century to no avail

Ben Stokes’ brilliant diving catch proved the catalyst for a spectacular middle-order collapse, while Chris Woakes bowled a superb final over as England beat New Zealand by four runs in their third One-Day International on Saturday.

The hosts had looked comfortably placed to chase down England’s 234 when Stokes turned the game as spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid took five wickets for 23 runs between them in the space of 41 balls.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who scored his 11th one-day century, however, combined with Mitchell Santner to halt the slide and then gave the hosts hopes of achieving a remarkable win with a 96-run partnership.

Freak dismissal

Santner was then unluckily run out for 41 when Woakes got his hand to a straight drive from Williamson and deflected the ball back onto the stumps, leaving the all-rounder stranded and New Zealand at 199 for seven with 4.4 overs remaining.

Tom Curran and Woakes then bowled brilliantly at the death, with the latter restricting Williamson from scoring the 15 runs needed to win in the last over.

Williamson, who needed a six off the final ball to win the game, or a four to secure a tie, failed to make contact and finished 112 not out with his side on 230 for eight to leave England with a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

“Brilliant game of cricket,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. “Our spin twins did a fantastic job.

All of England’s batsmen had got starts, but only Morgan looked comfortable on the drop-in pitch that appeared to be two-paced and providing inconsistent bounce as he top-scored with 48 and shared a 71-run partnership with Stokes.

Late charge

England’s lower-order, however, accelerated with Jos Buttler smashing 29 from 23 balls and the bowlers then added another 50 in the final seven overs.

New Zealand had been comfortable at 80 for one in the 18th over with Colin Munro on 49 and Williamson on 28 before Stokes came up with a stunning catch at cover to dismiss the opener off Rashid.

Moeen, who took wickets off successive deliveries, and Rashid then took three wickets for one run between them to leave New Zealand floundering at 98 for five.

“We were in a position of strength at one stage but lost a lot of wickets that hurt us and we had to take the game even deeper,” Williamson said. “They deserved to win, just a shame we got so close.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 7:01:55 AM |

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