In the third ODI at Rose Bowl, Southampton, England batted first in their new-found attacking strategy and succeeded in posting a good match-winning score of 302. But that score came with a devil-may-care approach and the innings folded in the 46th over. New Zealand responded sensibly and without too much excitement. After they lost Brendon McCullum in the seventh over, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor added 206 for the third wicket. With 61 runs needed off the remaining 61 deliveries, it looked like a cake-walk for New Zealand. But England bounced back dramatically at that stage and created a thriller out of a straightforward script. David Willey and Ben Stokes took two wickets apiece and brought New Zealand to the brink. However, New Zealand scraped through with a 3-wicket victory with 6 balls remaining. With this win, the Kiwis took a 2-1 lead in the 5-match ODI series.
Eoin Morgan chose to bat first after winning the toss in the third ODI at Southampton. Jason Roy and Alex Hales added 34 before both of them departed in the space of two balls in the seventh over. But England were undaunted as Joe Root and skipper Eoin Morgan forked out a 105-run third wicket stand in the next 18 overs. After Root got out for 54 off 63 balls, Morgan was joined by Ben Stokes. The fourth wicket stand between Stokes and Morgan was also fruitful as England reached 194 before Morgan got out for a well-compiled 71 off 82 balls. Ben Stokes carried on in with a blistering 47-ball 68 that included 7 fours and 2 sixes. With able support from Sam Billings and Jos Buttler, Stokes helped England reach 302 all out in the 46th over. England’s free-swinging batting spoiled the bowling figures of Tim Southee, Ben Wheeler, Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan and the victory target of 303 for New Zealand was quite challenging.
New Zealand began by losing Martin Guptill in the second over, when he fell LBW to David Willey. Brendon McCullum was also trapped leg-before wicket in the seventh over. But from that point onwards, the reins of batting fell in the hands of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. The two New Zealanders batted solidly and forcefully to thwart the English attack for the next 25 overs. At 242/2, it looked like a straightforward win for New Zealand. But in the 39th over, Williamson tried an aerial shot off Willey but succumbed to a great jumping catch by Mark Wood at the off-side boundary. Williamson had done his job regardless with a fine 118 off 113 balls. In the next over, England struck again, when Adil Rashid found the edge of Grant Elliott’s bat and Joe Root completed a good catch in the slips. The two quick wickets, brought England back into the game and New Zealand’s run-rate slumped. From a position of strength, the Kiwis looked in trouble. However, Ross Taylor and Mitchell Santner propped up New Zealand with a 35-run stand and brought New Zealand close to the target. Now just 19 were required with enough balls left. Once again, England put pressure and took the wickets of Santner and Taylor, who was another centurion with 110 runs off 123 balls. Luke Ronchi added 13 and when he got out as the seventh wicket, only 3 runs were needed. The tail-enders did the job for New Zealand and won the third ODI by 3 wickets.
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