Wellington [New Zealand]:Kane Williamson’s unbeaten century went in vain as England held on their nerves to defeat New Zealand by four runs in the third ODI of the five-match series here at the Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday.
After being asked to bat first,England struggled to reach 234, a total which looked plenty especially after the hosts slipped from 80-1 to 103-6.
Eoin Morgan top scored for the England with a score of 48 off 71 balls while Ben Stokes, the England hero when they won the second ODI by six wickets, scored 39 runs off 73 balls.
Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali chipped in with 29 and 23 runs, respectively.
Ish Sodhi was more expensive bowler for New Zealand with his leg breaks, but he still managed to bag three wickets while conceding 53 runs.
While Trent Boult also took two wickets, Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme contributed with a wicket each.
In reply, Williamson, who had struggled for runs recently and missed the second ODI due to a hamstring injury, returned to the arena by scoring a blistering 11th ODI century.
Williamson not only notched up an unbeaten 112-run knock off 143 deliveries but also stitched a crucial 68-run stand with opener Colin Munro (49).
While spinner Moeen Ali (3 off 36 ) and Adil Rashid (2 off 34) destroyed rest of the New Zealand batting with their devastating spell, all-rounder Mitchell Santner came from behind to contribute significant 41 runs.
However, the home side eventually fell short of four runs in their stipulated 50 overs as they finished their innings at 230-8.
Chris Woakes also bagged two wickets in New Zealand’s innings.
Moeen Ali was declared `Man of the Match` for his impressive contribution with ball.
With the win, England have taken a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. The visitors will now look to seal the series when they take on New Zealand in the fourth ODI on March 7 in Dunedin. (ANI)