Twin centuries by Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor powered New Zealand to their second victory against England in the third ODI of the five-match series at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, England posted yet another 300+ total on the board when they came out to bat in the first innings of the third ODI. Skipper Eoin Morgan has been the driving force for this English ODI side as he went on to score his third consecutive and his 24th ODI half- century.
Though consistency has been the hallmark of Morgan, he has to learn the art of finishing the game and play that long innings. Morgan has thrown away his wicket thrice in the ongoing ODI series when England needed him to stay there at the crease for a longer period.
Ben Stokes and Joe Root were the two other half- centurions at The Rose Bowl. Sam Billings played a brisk innings of 34 runs from just 16 balls to help England go past the 300-run mark to post a total of 302.
Surprisingly, if the batsmen had stayed at the crease for a little longer and played till the 50th over, they could have put 30-40 runs more on the scoreboard and pressurised the Kiwis. But the Black Caps bowlers did well to restrict them and dismissed them in 46 overs.
When the Kiwi batsmen Martin Guptill and Brenson McCullum came out to bat, things were not looking good as they both the openers were dismissed rather cheaply. It was then Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who took control of the match. Williamson scored his seventh ODI century by maintaining a healthy strike rate of above 100. It could have been his eighth century if he had managed to score at Kennington Oval in the second ODI where he got out on 93. Williamson played brilliantly and never allowed the England bowlers to settle down and kept on finding the odd boundaries in the middle overs.
Ross Taylor, who has been sublime with his touch, too went on to score his second consecutive ton against England and his 14th overall on Sunday at The Rose Bowl. Taylor played a quiet knock of 110 runs from 123 balls compared to Williamson who scored 118 runs from 113 balls. They hit 24 boundaries together during their partnership of 204 runs for the third wicket.
The rest of the Kiwi batsmen had very little to do to finish the game and seal the second victory in the five-match series to go 2-1 up against England. New Zealand achieved the target of 303 runs with an over to spare at the end. Kane Williamson was adjudged the man of the match for his century and also for his bowling performance as he dismissed England skipper Eoin Morgan at a crucial period of the game.