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NZ vs ENG, 2nd ODI, Review: Ben Stokes’ all-round effort set up a series levelling victory for England

The bowlers had done the job earlier for England by restricting their opponents to a below-par total.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes of England celebrates scoring a half-century. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

England have thumped New Zealand by six wickets in the second ODI of the five-match series at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. It was a complete performance from the visitors as they never allowed the Kiwis to make a comeback into the game right from the word go. Moreover, the home side never arrived as the batting line up underperformed significantly on the day. However, it was the partnership between Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes which helped their side seal the game while chasing the middling total.

Tim Southee led New Zealand in the second ODI as the regular skipper Kane Williamson was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Morgan won the toss and opted to bowl first as they didn’t make any changes to the side that took the field in the opening game of the series. The Kiwis brought in Mark Chapman for their injured skipper and also brought in Lockie Ferguson at the expense of Ish Sodhi.

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Top order collapse

New Zealand got off to a poor start as they lost Colin Munro and Chapman to Chris Woakes with the score yet go past 10. Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill tried to rebuild the innings but the poor calling and exceptional fielding effort from David Willey caught the former short of his crease in the 15th over. Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls also couldn’t add much to the total as they were reduced to 82/5 and then 108/6 after 30 overs. Guptill scored a valiant half-century off 87 deliveries but was not able to play a big knock which was badly needed.

However, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner led the rebuilding phase. The latter especially has to be credited as he took his team’s score past 200 after they were struggling at 147/8. Santner scored an unbeaten half-century and remained unbeaten on 63 off 62 deliveries as Ferguson supported him well by scoring 19 runs. In the end, they were bundled out for 223 in the 50th over as Trent Boult was run-out. It was the fourth of the innings for them which a testament to England’s fielding on the day.

England bowlers had a great day as the likes of Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali picked two wickets each. The other bowlers didn’t leak runs and supported them well to keep the hosts on the tenterhooks.

England stroll to victory

Jason Roy’s torrid time at the top continued as he was scalped by Boult in the fourth over which brought Joe Root in the middle. But he was also sent back as De Grandhomme plucked out a stunning diving catch at short mid-wicket off the same bowler. There were some concerns in England when Jonny Bairstow was sent back by Ferguson on 37 with England’s score reading 86/3, but Morgan and Stokes formed a brilliant fourth wicket partnership and didn’t allow the Kiwis to make a comeback.

Both added 88 runs in just 15 overs with the skipper leading from the front with a half-century. It was a superb knock from him and attacked the barrage of short deliveries bowled at him. Stokes continued to make the difference to his team soon after his return. He was assured as ever during his stay in the middle and remained unbeaten winning the game for England. He scored 63 off 74 deliveries as the visitors chased down the total in the 38th over and helped them level the five-match series.

Joss Buttler accompanied Stokes until the end and remained not-out on 36. New Zealand bowlers tried their best but the score was never going to be enough to restrict the power-packed batting line-up of England. Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers for them who scalped a couple but his teammates failed to make the further inroads. Stokes was named the Man of the Match for his all-round show on the day.

Brief Scores

New Zealand 223 after 49.4 overs (M Santner 63*, M Guptill 50; M Ali 2/33, B Stokes 2/42)

England 225/4 after 37.5 overs (B Stokes 63*, E Morgan 62; T Boult 2/46)

Result: England won by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Ben Stokes

For more updates on England versus New Zealand series follow www.crictracker.com

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