Williamson: Middle-order wickets cost New Zealand

Ross Taylor recorded his highest ODI score in Dunedin

Ross Taylor recorded his highest ODI score in Dunedin

A masterclass from Ross Taylor in the fourth saw New Zealand win comfortably by five wickets and deny England the series.

Bairstow and Alex Hales put on 155 for the first wicket as England rampaged towards their small target of 224.

In the fourth ODI, New Zealand were two for two before Ross Taylor saved the day with his unbeaten 181. Chris Woakes, who was named man-of-the-series for his 10 wickets at 20.30, and Mark Wood conceded a miserly 27 runs in the first 10 overs before spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, who finished with three for 42, ran through the middle order. In the end, it was Ben Stokes who finished with a couple of huge sixes off Ish Sodhi and stamped England's authority on what was a thoroughly competitive series barring the last game.

However, with one eye on the two-match Test series between the teams, which begins this month, New Zealand have opted not to risk Taylor's fitness.

However, it was Bairstow, striking nine fours and six sixes during a brutal 60-ball knock, who stole the show.

England are looking for a ninth victory in their last 10 ODI series and Bairstow believes the fixture - which starts at 10pm GMT - will go some way to replicating the pressure of a knockout match in the World Cup.

Hesson was confident Taylor would be fine for the opening test at Auckland's Eden Park, starting on March 22, which will be the first day-night test to be played in New Zealand. Realising that Tom Latham's success against quality spin in New Zealand's tour of India, Hesson pushed Latham down the order to No. 4 where he would straightway be up against spin.

New Zealand seemed to struggle to read the pitch.

The best and longest stand by openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro was 12 off 13 deliveries in the third ODI.

"They set the platform as they have done first up all the way though the series".

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.

A previously-out-of-form Nicholls made a restorative 50 before becoming Tom Curran's first wicket.

Despite Nicholls and Santner's efforts, New Zealand were not able to recover from a poor start.

"The disappointing thing was too many soft dismissals through that middle order", Williamson said. It was clean hitting. "We didn't get a complete performance all series, but England were outstanding, a very good one-day unit, and deserved to win the series".

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson: "We lacked discipline with the bat". "I think [it was great] the way the guys went out in a game that people had compared to a knockout in the World Cup next year and said "Right, this is how we'll react".

The seven wicket victory England earned was brilliantly set up by the England bowlers who quickly assessed conditions and put the Black Caps on the back foot.

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