The revival of England cricket took another step as Eoin Morgan and Joe Root struck centuries to help England run down their highest-ever ODI target and level the New Zealand series at 2-2.
Kane Williamson’s 90 led New Zealand 349-7, but that score was immediately made to look inadequate Alex Hales and Jason Roy plundered a record 97 from the initial 10-over powerplay and set the stage for a memorable night under the Trent Bridge floodlights.
Morgan and Root picked up the pace with a stand of 198 off 159 balls and ensured they target was demolished with seven wickets and six overs remaining.
Morgan was dismissed for 113, his eighth ODI century, off 82 balls, with 12 fours and five sixes while Root backed up at around a run-a-ball.
He reached his century, from 94 balls, before he pulled away the winning runs to the rope and sent the five-game series to a winner-takes-all clash at the Emirates Durham ICG on Saturday.
This series has starkly emphasised the turnaround in England cricket since their miserable display in the World Cup, where they failed to make the play-offs.
‘I’m striking the ball pretty well at the moment and I’m very happy and pretty laid back with it,” said Morgan. ‘I’m not going to take it for granted. I’ve been out of nick loads of times and you have to cash in when you’re in form.’
But he was qucicki to deflect the praise: ‘I don’t think we can emphasise how big an asset Joe Root is for English cricket. He has scored so many runs over the last three years that we almost take him for granted but I appreciate him.’
New Zealand will tour South Africa in August, playing two T20s and three ODIs. England are to tour in December.
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