Frustrated Williamson has no concerns over Black Caps' middle order

Chris Woakes's calmness overcame Kane Williamson's masterclass in a low-scoring thriller to help England take a 2-1 lead with a four-run win over New Zealand in the third One-Day International in Wellington on Saturday (March 3).

Betting first, England were 234 all out in stipulated 50 overs.

Williamson remained calm and went on to complete a 69-ball fifty amid the chaos at the other end and his partnership of 86 runs with Mitchell Santner (41) reignited the hopes of New Zealand. The team England is now travelling in New Zealand and as per the schedule, they are playing an ODI series against the Black Caps.

He faced 143 deliveries and was in the middle for most of the New Zealand innings after the early dismissal of Martin Guptill for three.

Whereas victory in the second ODI in Tauranga was an all-round demolition of the Black Caps, this was a streetwise and intelligent adaptation in tricky conditions, even if they were nearly denied by the brilliant Williamson.

But England hung on in there and it came down to 15 needed off the last over with Williamson and No10 Ish Sodhi at the crease.

He also saw a chunk of his now unsponsored bat broken off by a ball from the strictly medium-paced Colin de Grandhomme, who returned old-fashioned miserly figures of one for 24 off his 10 overs.

New Zealand get their talisman captain Kane Williamson back but lose Ross Taylor with a thigh strain.

Morgan - who passed 6,000 ODI runs during his knock - looked the more fluent of the two before he was bowled by Tim Southee aiming to glide a straight ball into the off-side, with Stokes striking just two fours, the first from his 60th delivery.

"Not really. It was a game where we weren't at our smartest".

The blame for the defeat falls squarely on the Kiwi middle order.

Similarly, Bairstow did the hard work in chieseling his way to 19 off fully 39 balls before being completely deceived by a googly from Ish Sodhi and being bowled through the gate attempting to drive the leg-spinner.

They were assisted by a stunning catch from Ben Stokes diving to his left to remove Colin Munro (49) to ignite the New Zealand slump from a comfortable 80 for one to 103 for six.

"It was a brilliant game of cricket, again". Another wicket followed and England's hold got stronger.

Victory in the match that begins at 22:00 GMT on Tuesday would give England their fifth successive ODI series success as they build towards the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

  • Stacy Allen