By BV Swagath
England defeated New Zealand by 34 runs in the Final ODI at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday to avoid a 3-0 cleansweep.
The hosts asked to bat first by the Kiwis finished with a good total of 287 for 6. Opener Ian Bell laid the foundation with a knock of 82 from 96 balls with 6 fours and a six. Eoin Morgan scored 49 from 40 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes while Jos Buttler with his cameo of 47* from just 16 balls (with 6 fours and 3 sixes) provided a perfect finish to the innings. For the Kiwis, left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan took 3 for 54.
New Zealand got off to a busy start with the in-form Martin Guptill scoring 38 from 36 balls before falling to offie James Tredwell with the Kiwis at 70 for 2 in the 10th over. New Zealand slipped after Guptill’s exit to 122 for 6 by the 25th over. Ross Taylor, the lone batsman who managed to survive by then, went onto score a knock of 71 (from 84 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes) which went in vain.
The Kiwis were bowled out for 253 in 46.3 overs but had won the series 2-1. Off-spinner Tredwell took 3 for 51 while Finn, Broad and Bresnan picked two wickets each. Jos Buttler got the Man of the Match and the Player of the Series went to Martin Guptill for his two centuries. Hosts England would be happy that their key bowlers – Steven Finn and Stuart Broad got back to fitness just on time for the Champions Trophy.