New Zealand restricts England to 234

England made 234, with Eoin Morgan scoring 48 and Ben Stokes 39.

With the equation reading 13 from four balls for victory, there was a sense of a possible shift in momentum when Williamson heaved Woakes over the rope from the next delivery.

It meant England won by four runs and seized a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. After the dismissal of Martin Guptill, the run chase looked in firm control of New Zealand.

Williamson welcomed an 11th century and 5000 runs in the intermediate format of the global game en route to a commanding 112 not out from 143 deliveries, six fours and two sixes included, but it was not enough.

Morgan agreed that Williamson and Santner appeared to be taking a fluctuating contest away from England again.

Williamson opted for eight overs of Munro's slow-medium, trying to replicate de Grandhomme's impact, instead of returning to Santner who bowled just two overs in the innings.

Joe Root, as he does so often, timed the ball sweetly from the off and was starting to dominate with back-to-back sweeps off Mitchell Santner when he tried to club de Grandhomme through the leg side and miscued to mid-on. "Fighting our way to a competitive total - it was probably quite fortunate that me and Ben had the partnership the other day and were in a good headspace to compare wickets and make a call that it wasn't a 270 wicket", Morgan said. They were assisted by a stunning catch from Ben Stokes diving to his left to remove Colin Munro (49) to ignite the New Zealand slump from a comfortable 80 for one to 103/6.

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New Zealand's middle order then failed to deal with England's spin duo - Ali having Mark Chapman (8) caught at backward point, pinning Tom Latham (0) lbw for a golden duck on review and then having De Grandhomme (3) pouched at long-on.

England have played four previous ODIs at the Westpac, but are yet to win one - bowled out for 89, 130, and 123 respectively, and then making 309 for 6, before being beaten by nine wickets by Sri Lanka.

"And credit to the way the English spinners bowled through the middle". When we lost a couple of those wickets it was tough to put them under pressure as they were very accurate. "Brilliant game of cricket", England captain Eoin Morgan said.

"You earn a little bit of luck along the way, but Woakesy was trying to catch the ball and it's a really unlucky way to get out". "We had to take the game even deeper and it was just a shame not to get across the line tonight".

And so it proved once the wickets started falling. "It was a tight game and could have gone either way".

Whereas victory in the second ODI in Tauranga was an all-round demolition of the Black Caps, this was a streetwise and intelligent adaptation in tricky conditions, even if they were nearly denied by the brilliant Williamson.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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