New Zealand held to 223 despite Santner, Nicholls fifties

New Zealand's Ross Taylor could be crucial for the hosts in the 5th ODI vs England

Then Bairstow (104) hit six sixes and nine fours in his 58-ball century, the third-fastest by any Englishman, as his opening stand of 155 with Alex Hales (61) made memorably short work of New Zealand in this showdown decider which fell flat for most of a sell-out crowd at Hagley Oval.

Hales, back in place of the injured Jason Roy for his first match of the series and since he announced his white-ball-only future, was no slouch either and passed 2,000 ODI runs for his trouble.

In the fourth ODI, New Zealand was two for two before Ross Taylor saved the day with his unbeaten 181.

Chris Woakes, the man of the series, lead the way with three for 32 off his 10 overs while spinner Adil Rashid finished with three for 42. Officially, a four and six from Ben Stokes saw England home by 108 balls.

Indeed, this was the fastest ODI century by an England opener and overall only Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have got their quicker for their country in one-day cricket than the Yorkshireman, who accelerated from 50 to 100 in just 20 balls.

Hales anchored the other end, compiling 61 off 74 balls as the pair milked the bowling and capitalised on a New Zealand side failing to ignite.

The best and longest stand by openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro was 12 off 13 deliveries in the third ODI.

A rather freakish series for Colin Munro summed up in his final outing as he bagged yet another duck as Woakes snaffled him in the very first over.

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For now, the focus will switch to red-ball cricket as New Zealand prepare to face England in a two-match Test series at home.

New Zealand seemed to struggle to read the pitch.

Eventually, New Zealand posted 223, the score which was under-par but a good one given their position half-way through the innings.

Bairstow had earlier held a stunning, running catch at deep mid-wicket to remove Tim Southee.

Coming to this series, Latham scored 84 balls 79 in partnership with Ross Taylor in the first match at Hamilton chasing 270 odd and once again rescued his team in Dunedin after being 86-3 chasing 335, he combined with centurion of the match Taylor to stitch 187 runs partnership thereby calming nerves in the dressing room.

"Obviously opening the batting is a bit different to batting in the middle order so my job is now to go out, try and score big hundreds and contribute to match-winning scores", he said.

Some of his hitting straight and over mid-wicket was as clean as anybody could wish to see. His experience, ability to bat long periods on hard surfaces and reputation for digging New Zealand out of trouble with the bat, should see him preferred over Blundell against a quality English attack.

"I thought our bowlers really did set the tone after winning the toss", England captain Eoin Morgan said. "I think [it was great] the way the guys went out in a game that people had compared to a knockout in the World Cup next year and said "Right, this is how we'll react".

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