New Zealand won by three wickets.
An unspectacular match at least had a good finish.
As is looking increasingly like the norm these days because of the two new balls, England batted with circumspect for a large chunk of their innings. Another failure from Eoin Morgan meant a lot of pressure was on Jos Buttler’s shoulders – and his 21 from 13 balls was certainly quick but he was dismissed by the impressive Mitchell McClenaghan with more than six overs to go. Ultimately though, 258ao looked a reasonable total.
New Zealand always gave themselves a chance – Kane Williamson batted nicely – but by the time the seventh wicket fell in the 46th over for 218 England were clear favourites. However Martin Guptill, who had retired hurt early on in the innings with a hamstring injury, returned to join Brendon McCullum (who earlier had taken one of the best wicketkeeping catches we’ve seen for ages) and together they slayed England’s admittedly shoddy bowlers to win with an over to spare.
Although New Zealand won here, their best bowler McClenaghan is now injured and will miss not only the rest of the series, but also the Test matches. There must also be doubts over Guptill’s fitness ahead of the second ODI. Both players would be missed.
Meanwhile England would have expected at least one of their three half-centurions to bat through to approach – or pass – 100. Even 20 more runs would probably have sufficed. They also suffered from the old thorny problem of not having a death bowler – and no, Jade Dernbach isn’t in the squad.