Kane Williamson's ton goes in vain as spinners shine in England's narrow win over New Zealand in third ODI

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Adil Rashid was on song as England won by four runs.

England beat New Zealand by four runs in a thrilling third ODI to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

On a slow track at Wellington which was difficult to bat on, the hosts required 15 runs off the last over in their reply to England’s 234 but fell short of the finishing line in a low-scoring but highly entertaining contest.

Here, we take a look at the standout performances, both good and bad.

THE GOOD

ENGLAND SPINNERS BREAK KIWI BACK

Chasing a meager 235, New Zealand looked comfortable at 80-1 with Colin Munro firing on all cylinders. That all changed in the 18th over when Adil Rashid had Munro walking back to the pavilion after a fine catch by Ben Stokes.

That was just the start of things to come as Rashid (2-34), along with Moeen Ali, rattled the Black Caps’ middle-order. The slow nature of the surface saw Ali (3-36) remove Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme and Henry Nicholls in quick succession. At the other end, Rashid accounted for Tom Latham who departed for a golden-duck.

Within six overs from England’s spin-pair, New Zealand went from 80-1 to 103-6, a defining period of the game which clinched it eventually for the visitors.

Moeen Ali put in a man-of-the-match performance.

Moeen Ali put in a man-of-the-match performance.

KANE WILLIAMSON BATTLES ON

On a surface where no other batsmen crossed the 50-run mark, Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 112 deserves special praise even though it came in a losing cause. The Kiwi skipper’s solid technique saw him succeed where others failed.

The skipper battled along as wickets fell at the other end, forming a 96-run seventh-wicket stand with Mitchell Santner. He brought up his 11th ODI century in the penultimate over with a boundary off Tom Curran but couldn’t take his team over the finish line as the asking rate got too much for him in the end. However, it was a gritty knock on an extremely difficult track, underlining the class of Williamson.

Williamson was head and shoulders above every other batsman.

Williamson was head and shoulders above every other batsman.

THE BAD

CHAPMAN’S WILD SLOG OPENS THE GATES

New Zealand were still ahead in the game when Rashid dismissed Munro to reduce them to 80-2 in the chase. With Williamson batting steadily at one end, a mature innings was needed from young batsman Mark Chapman.

Despite spinners looking menacing on the track, the youngster stepped out his crease to hit Moeen Ali out of the ground. He got into a poor position as he went for maximum power and was caught easily at point. That wicket started a middle-order slide for the Kiwis as they lost their next three batsmen for just six runs.

Chapman displayed his inexperience in throwing his wicket away.

Chapman showed his inexperience in Wellington.

SANTNER’S LUCK RUNS OUT

With New Zealand in deep trouble at 103-6, Mitchell Santner came in and carried on his brilliant form with the bat. Along, with Williamson, he stabilised the slide with a plucky 41 full of streaky shots. He lived dangerously but kept up the fight, so much so that the Black Caps got close to the target.

However, his innings came to a cruel end when Williamson drove straight back at Chris Woakes. The bowler failed to latch on to a difficult catch as the ball brushed his fingertips on the way to the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Santner did not even wait for a decision, the dismissal being his first in the series after a total of 149 runs.

Santner was dismissed only for the first time in three innings.

Santner was dismissed for the first time in three innings.

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