England overturned their miserable Westpac Stadium record as they held their nerve to defy home centurion Kane Williamson and close out a four-run victory to go 2-1 up in the one-day international series.
In a thrillingly unpredictable contest, played on a poor pitch, Williamson (112no) and Mitchell Santner resuscitated the chase – with a dash of controversy thrown in – as the Kiwis recovered from 103 for six in a resourceful stand of 96.
At a venue where England had lost all their four previous ODIs, including back-to-back hammerings by New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the 2015 World Cup, spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid wreaked havoc as the Kiwis collapsed from 80 for one in reply to 234 all out.
In a spin
The Westpac pitch favoured bowlers of all types, but eight wickets for 123 fell to spin across both innings. New Zealand’s slow left-armer Santner must be wondering what he was playing at in his two early wicketless overs for 12 runs – never to return
Tweet of the day
Wellington woe is history
Before this victory, England had mustered a top score of 130 against the hosts in three previous ODI trouncings at this venue. They also lost to Sri Lanka here in the last World Cup, by nine wickets despite topping 300 on that occasion. Cake Tin redemption appeared highly unlikely at one stage, but was duly delivered.
Stat of the day
England reconvene on the South Island with a chance of closing out series victory in Dunedin on Wednesday.