Jos Buttler hit 47 not out off 16 balls as England claimed a much-needed 34-run victory against New Zealand in the final One-Day international today.
Buttler’s innings put the finishing touches on England’s total of 287 for 6 at Trent Bridge and New Zealand were bowled out for 253 in reply.
The match was a dead rubber after New Zealand’s wins at Lord’s and the Ageas Bowl but, with the Champions Trophy following immediately after the series, both teams were looking to go into the tournament with a win.
England welcomed back fast bowlers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn after injury, while Ravi Bopara was recalled and James Tredwell given his chance in place of the rested Graeme Swann.
Asked to bat, England overcame the early loss of Alastair Cook – lbw for a nine-ball duck in Mitchell McClenaghan’s opening over – thanks to the efforts of Ian Bell.
Bell scored 82 off 96 balls and received good support from Jonathan Trott (37) and Joe Root (33) as England laid the platform for a late assault.
Eoin Morgan and Buttler provided the fireworks required after coming together with England on 210-5. The sixth-wicket pair put on 62 from 22 deliveries with Morgan’s 40-ball 49 overshadowed by his partner, who slammed six fours and three sixes.
New Zealand seamers McClenaghan (3-54), Kyle Mills (0-55) and Tim Southee (0-65) all had their figures ruined as the final three overs went for 22, 20 and 22 runs respectively.
Martin Guptill, fresh from scores of 103 not out and 189 not out earlier in the series, put on 39 inside six overs with Luke Ronchi to give New Zealand a flying start to their run chase.
But Broad had Ronchi caught at mid-on from a miscued pull, sparking a collapse to 122-6 in the 25th over.
Tredwell was the man to finally dismiss Guptill, bowling him through the gate with a turning delivery for 38.
Ross Taylor found an ally in Nathan McCullum, the seventh-wicket duo adding 53 before Broad took a well-judged catch over his shoulder off Tim Bresnan’s bowling to get rid of McCullum (28).Taylor went to his half-century from 72 balls and, while he remained, New Zealand retained hope despite a climbing required-rate. He dispatched back-to-back sixes to midwicket off Tredwell in the 43rd over but departed for 71 trying to add a third, Finn showing some deft footwork to throw the ball back for Bresnan to complete the catch before he stepped over the rope.
Tredwell finished with figures of 3-51, while Finn (2-57), Broad (2-56) and Bresnan (2-27) each claimed two wickets. (SKY)