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New Zealand v England – story of the match

Ben Stokes top-scored in England’s easy victory.

Ben Stokes bagged top billing with an unbeaten half-century as England cruised to a series-levelling six-wicket one-day international win over New Zealand.

Stokes’ landmark performance, in just his second match back from a five-month absence after being arrested outside a Bristol nightclub in September, inevitably overshadowed all else at Mount Maunganui.

England got ahead and stayed there thanks to the exemplary fielding of David Willey and Jason Roy especially in a home innings of 223 all out which featured four run-outs, and then Stokes (63no) and captain Eoin Morgan (62) took over in a stand of 88 to set up the win with more than 12 overs to spare.

Stokes, who also took two wickets and effected two run-outs as half-centuries from Martin Guptill (50) and Mitch Santner (63no) failed to keep New Zealand competitive, might have departed for nought when he himself was short of his ground as Colin de Grandhomme’s side-foot at the stumps trickled wide.

Ben is back

Well, strictly speaking of course, that was the case already after Stokes’ return in Hamilton on Sunday. But after two wickets and just 12 runs there, he added another two, two run-outs and his first innings of substance this time. He is showing no signs of distraction from any off-the-field events.

Tweet of the day

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“England have been exceptional in the field today – their fielding impact score of 86.3 is the highest of any innings in our database,” – England give data analysts Cricviz a day to remember.

Moments of brilliance

David Willey had already completed a fine running catch at square-leg to cut short Mark Chapman’s debut 50-over innings in a New Zealand shirt. But his diving stop at point and flat return to the base of the stumps was near perfection, and too much for an out-of-sorts Ross Taylor – whose dive back into his ground was well short. Jason Roy then produced two memorable catches in successive overs.

Stat of the day

Four – The quartet of run-outs in New Zealand’s innings is only the fourth time England have managed that national-record number in any of their 704 ODIs to date.

What next?

On to Wellington on Saturday, with the series level at 1-1.

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