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|Colin de Grandhomme||6||11||0||0||54.55|
|Colin de Grandhomme||4.0||0||33||0||8.25|
The Kiwis kept their nerves together to win the 4th ODI against England and draw level 2-2 in the ongoing one-day series. The two teams will now battle it out for the title when they play the 5th and final ODI at Christchurch on 10th March. New Zealand had to chase a tall target of 336 and they did so with 3 balls to spare, after facing a must-win situation. They had lost the 3rd ODI by a close margin of 4 runs, after failing to chase down 231; the Kiwis have done well to bounce back and keep the series alive. It needs to be seen which team can keep a cool head above their shoulders and lift the title on Saturday.
Ross Taylor’s superb form with the bat helped them chase down a gigantic target of 336 runs in the must-win game on Wednesday. The middle-order batsman held his nerves while fighting back from injury and steered his team across the finish line with help from Tom Latham and captain Williamson, who scored 71 and 45 runs respectively. Earlier, spinner Ish Sodhi took 4-58 to contain the English batting line-up while Boult and Southee claimed 3 wickets between them. Colin Munro also impressed with the ball, claiming 2-53 in 8 overs but they couldn’t stop the visitors from posting a huge target.
Sodhi has been consistently picking up wickets, and his 3-53 in the 3rd ODI helped them restrict the opponents at 234 all-out. Boult and Southee also put up a stupendous performance taking 3 wickets between them, but their good efforts went in vain as the batting line-up collapsed under pressure during the chase. Williamson posted a heroic 112 while Munro pitched in with 49. Santner scored 41 runs but they fell short in the end by a meagre 4 runs.
The Kiwis are back in control and we could see them come out all guns blazing with bat and ball in this decider.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, KS Williamson, Mark Chapman, TWM Latham, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, TG Southee, IS Sodhi, TA Boult.
After taking a 2-1 lead in the series, the English batsmen started the 4th ODI with confidence, as they posted 335 runs thanks to well-made centuries posted by Bairstow and Joe Root. While Bairstow went on to score 138 off 106, Root finished at 102 to ensure they had enough at hand to wrap up a win. However, the bowlers couldn’t find an answer to Taylors’s determined approach with the bat and despite a good show by pacers Tom Curran, Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes, they suffered defeat by 5 wickets with 3 balls to spare.
In the previous match, it was a sturdy performance by the middle-order that saw them score 234 runs before getting all-out; the hero of the match was spinner Moeen Ali, who claimed 3-36 to stifle the Kiwis and help win by a close 4-run margin. Others like spinner Adil Rashid and pacer Chris Woakes also dismissed 2 opponents each, and they have been doing well to contain the hosts time and again.
England has match-winners like Ali, Stokes and Woakes, who could outwit the Kiwi batsmen yet again; if they could post a challenging total while batting first, then surely the English will have a vantage point.
AD Hales, Jonny Bairstow, JE Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, BA Stokes, CR Woakes, AU Rashid, Tom Curran, M Wood.
Both teams are well matched to take the series and the contest could go down to the wire; however, we feel that the hosts with the boosted morale after their dramatic win, are better placed to emerge victorious on Saturday.