Alastair Cook plays a shot against New Zealand during the
second cricket match of their one day international series
at McLean Park, Napier. Photo by Reuters
Alastair Cook's patient knock of 78 anchored a
well-executed England run chase of 270 to beat New Zealand by
eight wickets in the second one-day international at McLean
Park today, levelling the three-match series at 1-1.
England's bowlers, particularly James Anderson, had done a
superb job to dismiss New Zealand for 269 in 48.5 overs at a
small venue with short square boundaries, where a score of at
least 300 was needed to set a competitive total.
Joe Root (79 not out) then picked up from where Cook left off
when the captain was dismissed by Tim Southee, while Jonathan
Trott finished on 65 not out as England easily chased down
the total for the loss of two wickets in 47.4 overs.
"I thought the way we bowled up front was outstanding," Cook
said. "Steve Finn and James Anderson bowled really well and
we gave them nothing, took some wickets and put them under
"We knew that 270 was below par on that wicket and that if we
kept our heads while batting, and kept wickets in hand then,
as it proved, it was quite an easy chase."
England's victory ensured the series finale at Eden Park in
Auckland on Saturday would be a decider after New Zealand won
the first match in Hamilton on Sunday by three wickets.
New Zealand's innings was dominated by Ross Taylor's 100, his
seventh one day international century, and a brutal 74 from
36 deliveries by captain Brendon McCullum, but it was well
short of a ground that consistently yields innings in excess
"I think we were probably 20 runs under par," McCullum said.
"At 270, I thought we were still a chance if we got early
wickets but we weren't able to get them... (and) they played
brilliantly to knock off 270 reasonably comfortably."
Taylor, who was dumped as captain by coach Mike Hesson in
December and chose not to tour South Africa, had barely
played any cricket since and had looked rusty in his return
to the international scene.
The 28-year-old took a little time to get into his stride and
also curbed his attacking instincts to anchor the innings
after Anderson and Finn had put the hosts under immense
Taylor combined with Kane Williamson (33) in a 72-run
partnership, then 52 runs with Grant Elliott (23) for the
fourth wicket before the latter was dismissed by Finn in the
first over of the batting powerplay to leave New Zealand
struggling at 143-4 in the 36th over.
McCullum, however, then thrashed nine fours and four sixes in
a 44-minute knock that included a 100-run partnership with
Taylor, 77 of which came in 5.5 overs.
McCullum's dismissal then sparked a collapse with the final
five wickets falling for 26 runs as Anderson returned to mop
up the tail and finished with impressive figures of five for
"I'm delighted with the way I bowled," Anderson said. "I
think we bowled pretty well as a unit.
"It's a good pitch... and we knew that if we hit our areas
then we would get some rewards.
"We got some early wickets and just stuck to our tasks... and
kept them under 300 (which) we knew we could chase down."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John