New Zealand v England – Story of the match
Ben Stokes’ two wickets were not quite enough for England in Hamilton.
Ben Stokes was back in the thick of the action for England but unable to stop New Zealand nosing 1-0 up with a thrilling three-wicket win in the first one-day international in Hamilton.
Stokes intervened with two wickets on his return to the international stage, only for a stand of 178 between Ross Taylor (113) and Tom Latham (79) and then some late hitting from Mitchell Santner to get the Kiwis home with four balls to spare in pursuit of 284 for eight.
England will doubtless be relieved merely to have their go-to match-winner back in harness after his five months of unavailability following his arrest last September after a late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub.
Stokes was restricted to 12 runs in half-an-hour of batting as Jos Buttler (79) and Joe Root (71) held sway – and then eight handy overs, returning with the wickets of Latham and Colin de Grandhomme in an unscripted second spell which could not quite prevent New Zealand’s ninth successive ODI win.
Tweet of the day
Stokes concedes two off his first over back... Who writes his scripts?— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) February 25, 2018
– The Guardian’s Barney Ronay sounds slightly underwhelmed by events … but Stokes still had a couple of tricks up his sleeve.
Hundred up for Woakes
When Colin Munro went, six and out, advancing and edging a swish behind, the opener became Chris Woakes’ 100th ODI victim. As he approaches his 29th birthday this week, the man known to team-mates as ‘Wiz’ because of his magical all-round skills has plenty of time on his side to climb significantly higher among England’s 12 current centurions.
Stat of the day
Joe Root hit yet another 50+ scores for England in all formats without going on to convert it into a century. The Test captain’s previous 12 50+ scores without a century in sight read: 59, 72, 54, 84, 51, 67, 61, 83, 58*, 91*, 62, 71.
Law an ass?
England were docked a run they thought they had. Thankfully, the detail was not telling. But it seemed harsh on David Willey that he did not get his single for an edge on to his pad from the final ball of the tourists’ innings – through no fault of his own but because umpire Shaun Haig had given him out lbw and the ball was therefore dead, even though the DRS review was successful as technology revealed bat on ball.
On to Mount Maunganui on Wednesday for England’s chance to level up at 1-1.