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Stokes in the runs as England level ODI series

Ben Stokes struck 63 not out as England stormed to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second ODI in Mount Maunganuil on Wednesday to level the five-match series at one-all.

Chasing a target of 224, England did not get off to the best of starts as they found themselves on 47/2 inside the first 10 overs after losing Jason Roy (8) and Joe Root (9) cheaply.

Jonny Bairstow was looking good for his 37 until he gave it away, being caught at third man attempting a ramp shot, while captain Eoin Morgan played a vital innings of 62 that steered the visitors’ ship in the right direction.

Morgan shared in a stand of 88 with Stokes, who scored his runs off 74 balls, who mixed good defence with some controlled aggression.

Even though the skipper lost his wicket, Jos Buttler (36 not out of 20 balls) made sure there were no further dramas as England won with 73 balls to spare.

Earlier, the Black Caps slumped to 141/7 before Mitchell Santner saved their blushes with 63 batting at number eight.

Only opener Martin Guptill (50) showed any kind of application with the willow in sa hambolic display by the Kiwis’ top-order.

Stokes capped a fun allround performance with 2-42 in eight overs while Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali also bagged two wickets each.

The crucial third ODI of the series will be played in Wellington on Saturday.