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England force series decider against New Zealand at Eden Park

Wednesday 20 Feb 2013 9:45 p.m.

England has squared the ODI series at one a-piece with a comprehensive eight wicket win in Napier tonight.

Watch the video for highlights of the match.

Needing 270 for victory the England chase was never really troubled. Captain Alastair Cook (78) and Ian Bell (44) got the chase off to a solid start putting on 89 for the first wicket.

The BlackCaps tried to slow the pace down with spin from both ends but the class of Jonathan Trott (65*) and 22-year-old Joe Root (79*) paced the innings to perfection and got the visitors home with 14 balls remaining.

Earlier in the day Ross Taylor brought up a century and Brendon McCullum added 74 as the captains past and present lifted New Zealand after a slow start to a target of 269 on Wednesday in the second limited-overs international against England.

The pair shared a partnership of exactly 100 runs from 43 balls to give New Zealand's innings impetus and scale.

New Zealand was only 89-2 at the midpoint of its innings after making a painfully slow beginning against tight England bowling at McLean Park, a ground known for high-scoring matches. The last one-day international between England and New Zealand on the ground in 2008 ended in a tie in which both teams scored 340.

But New Zealand was pinned down early in its innings by accurate bowling from the new ball pair of James Anderson and Steve Finn. It lost openers B.J. Watling for 7 and Hamish Rutherford, on debut, for 11, further slowing its progress and placing pressure on the middle order.

Anderson bowled superbly at the start and end of the New Zealand innings, taking 5-34 from 9.5 overs, while Chris Woakes had 3-68.

Kane Williamson mounted a slow recovery, making 33 in a 72-run partnership with Taylor for the third wicket through the middle overs.

Taylor, who was fired as captain and replaced by McCullum late last year, battled with his timing early in his innings as he has done since he ended a self-imposed exile from international play. His innings gradually grew in momentum and it blossomed during his partnership with McCullum between the 36th and 45th overs.

Taylor reached his half century from 81 balls but added a second 50 from 35 deliveries, reaching his century with a four from Chris Woakes. He was immediately out at that total.

McCullum, once again the driver of the New Zeeland innings, reached 50 off only 34 balls and peppered his innings with nine fours and four sixes.

The England bowlers were at a loss to curb McCullum's onslaught and Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Graeme Swann all suffered at his hands. Broad finally exacted a small measure of revenge when he had McCullum caught in the deep by Woakes for his only wicket at a cost of 69 runs.

After McCullum and Taylor's onslaught, New Zealand's last six wickets fell for 23 runs.

The series will be decided at Eden Park on Saturday.

AP

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