The win secures a 3-2 win for England in the five-match series, and gives the visitors added momentum to take into the first Test against the Black Caps from March 22 in Auckland. He cut and swept the spinners with regularity, reaching his half-century from 38 balls.
Eventually, New Zealand posted 223, the score which was under-par but a good one given their position half-way through the innings.
The 34-year-old, who carved a match-winning 181 not out in the fourth match in Dunedin on Wednesday, injured his quadricep while batting in that match. Kane Williamson chopped on after being out-smarted by a change of angle from Mark Wood, Tom Latham offered a simple catch off Adil Rashid and Mark Chapman was bowled by Moeen Ali for a duck as the hosts floundered. "If they don't with the two new balls, it can all be against us, especially when you've got two guys at the top of the order who can be so destructive". Nicholls hit Root's off-spin for six but he top-edged Tom Curran to short leg at an inopportune moment.
Santner was finally snared by Woakes, though, late in the innings, the Warwickshire man also getting rid of Tim Southee thanks to a spectacular Bairstow catch on the boundary before Curran ended the innings with the scalp of Ish Sodhi. The Black Caps playing it safe after the early loss of Munro.
MARK BAKER AP England celebrate the wicket of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson at Hagley Oval
The rain has stayed away and Hagley Oval is a picture!
Three years on from being finalists in the 2015 World Cup, where they lost to Australia in Melbourne, New Zealand are now struggling to get an innings underway as they build towards the next showpiece in May 2019.
"Obviously opening the batting is a bit different to batting in the middle order so my job is now to go out, try and score big hundreds and contribute to match-winning scores", he said. There was some severe tap for him in Christchurch courtesy of Jonny Bairstow and there remained plenty of loose stuff thrown in, but he is a wicket-taker. It was clean hitting. "No bowler was been able to contain him". His experience, ability to bat long periods on hard surfaces and reputation for digging New Zealand out of trouble with the bat, should see him preferred over Blundell against a quality English attack. Woakes, who claimed Santner's wicket, was the most economical of the England bowlers taking three for 32 off his 10 overs. Had England batted first, or if they had been forced to chase 300, then there would have been a clearer indication of whether they are becoming mentally strong enough to win a global tournament, in comparison to all previous England one-day sides that have buckled.
"I think, certainly, as a batting unit we didn't really fire in terms of the balance we wanted to put out there", Hesson said.
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