Bell, Buttler bring consolation win

England

Batsman Ian Bell's patient half-century, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler's inventive blitz and three key wickets from spinner James Tredwell carried England to a tidy 34-run victory over New Zealand in Wednesday's third and final ODI in Nottingham.

Batsman Ian Bell's patient half-century, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler's inventive blitz and three key wickets from spinner James Tredwell carried England to a tidy 34-run victory over New Zealand in Wednesday's third and final ODI in Nottingham.

With the series already gone, the best England could do here to restore some self-belief before the start of their Champions Trophy campaign against Australia on Saturday was to avoid a first home whitewash in this format since 2006.

Their struggle to 211 for five after 46 overs, Bell top-scoring with 82, gave them anything but obvious prospects of doing so.

But after Buttler's unbeaten 47 from just 16 balls and Eoin Morgan's 49 had turned that into 287 for six, they held on to the winning momentum.

New Zealand raced to 69 for one in the 10th over of their reply, and Ross Taylor (71) kept Kiwi hopes alive until he was ninth out in the 43rd over – brilliantly caught, principally by Steven Finn who ferried an attempt at a third successive six off Tredwell (three for 51) safely away from the boundary rope and into the hands of Tim Bresnan.

Stuart Broad had broken a hectic opening stand when Luke Ronchi mistimed a pull to mid-on. But it was Tredwell's breakthrough – with the precious wicket of Martin Guptill, after more than 350 ODI runs against England this year without previously being dismissed – which began the consolidation of Buttler's outstanding performance.

The England wicketkeeper-batsman's power and invention, in a sequence of 6-4-4-4-0-4 off Kyle Mills, provided the catalyst for a stand of 62 with Morgan in only 22 balls which changed the complexion of the match.

Mitchell McClenaghan, previously so successful in stifling England, was sufficiently rattled to produce a 10-ball over including two wides and two no-balls.

Buttler did not spare Tim Southee either, and had he managed his fourth six from the final ball of the innings, he would have recorded the fastest 50 in ODI history.

His innings was a startling contrast with what had gone before.

Following the early departure of Alastair Cook, Bell, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root appeared to favour risk management over any attempt to dominate.

Cook was gone for a duck in the third over, lbw on the back foot to McClenaghan (three for 54), after England had been put in under cloud cover and floodlights.

By the end of the sixth, the total was still just six for one as Bell and Trott struggled to find scoring opportunities.

Only gradually did they attune themselves in a safety-first stand of 66 in 94 balls.

The return of McClenaghan did for Trott, aiming one of his trademark clips to leg but lbw to a hint of inswing from the left-armer.

Bell then shared England's highest partnership of the series – 80 with Root – until the young Yorkshireman was run out in odd circumstances.

Non-striker Root himself partially intercepted Bell's straight drive and, after the ball ricocheted to mid-on, Guptill's wayward throw was still good enough, via a stretch from wicketkeeper Ronchi.

Bell had mixed much caution with some typically assured strokes and timing on his way past a 69-ball 50. But he was rightly furious with himself when he clubbed McClenaghan low to mid-off just when it seemed England needed him to underpin the rest of the innings.

Instead, Morgan and Ravi Bopara were thrown together without a run between them at the start of the mandatory powerplay.

They could not pierce the field for a boundary in the next five overs, but did gather 20 runs to kickstart the third of England's four half-century stands.

Bopara aimed a big hit at part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson but was caught at deep midwicket – and it turned out, thanks to Buttler, to have been absolutely the best thing he could have done.

The Kiwis faced a significant run chase after all and once Guptill was second out, a classic off-spin dismissal bowled through the gate by Tredwell, England were always favourites.

Cook surprisingly replaced Tredwell with Root, who should have had his first ODI wicket when Buttler missed an obvious stumping but almost immediately got Williamson anyway – lbw pulling.

Colin Munro was caught-behind off Bresnan first ball and Tredwell returned to have Brendon McCullum edging an attempted cut to Buttler.

At 111 for five, New Zealand's batting resources were already compromised, and although Taylor refused to give up, he could not quite take the contest to the wire as the tourists were eventually all out in 46.3 overs.

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