England clinch series in thrilling finale
Duckworth-Lewis threatened to have the last say, but England's batsmen produced a superb chase to claim a nailbiting three-wicket victory over New Zealand and win the series 3-2.
New Zealand batted first on a grey day in Durham, and set about their innings in a slightly more sedate fashion than in previous matches in the high-scoring series.
Martin Guptill was solid at the top of the innings as he made 67, as was Kane Williamson, who made exactly 50, and Ross Taylor, who added 47, but the English bowlers kept chipping in with wickets at oppurtune times to keep the scoring rate in check.
Still, New Zealand were 101/2 after 20 overs and 150/3 after 30, and looking on course for 300 plus, but with Steven Finn, Ben Stokes, David Willey and Adil Rashid all taking wickets, their charge was effectively contained in the last 10 overs.
Only Ben Wheeler's 39 not out off 28 deliveries helped the Black Caps to 283/9 off their 50 overs – a challenging total, though certainly gettable considering what had transpired in the series so far.
New Zealand's innings was interrupted by rain, and there would be lots more rain during the break, delaying England's chase and eventually reducing the target.
When things finally got under way again, England were tasked with chasing down 192 off 26 overs thanks to the Duckworth-Lewis method.
A tricky challenge on a rainy evening in Durham, and it soon looked as if the Kiwis would have the last laugh.
Mitchell Santner struck three times in his first two overs to leave the home side reeling on 20/3. That soon became 45/5 as Andrew Mathieson and Wheeler also got in on the act.
In a flash, England's top five were back in the pavilion, and they still needed 150 runs – in quick time.
England needed a couple of heroes, and they found them in Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings. The duo combined for an 80-run partnership in a little over nine overs to put England within in reach of victory.
Billings would fall for 41 off 30 balls, as would the arriving David Willey, but Bairstow stayed the course, smashing the Kiwis around the park to chase down the total with a full six balls to spare.
Bairstow would finish on 83 not out off 60 deliveries, a true match-winning innings as England clinched the three-wicket victory and the series.
Jos Buttler and Harry Brook give England hope of levelling ODI series
England reached 342 for seven against South Africa, with Buttler making 94 and Brook 80.
Jason Roy was never ready to ‘roll over’ despite year of setbacks and low points
Roy has for so long been England’s pacesetter at the top of the order but lost his place in the side.
England batter Jason Roy emotional after return to form in South Africa defeat
Roy’s slump with the bat led to him being dropped ahead of England’s T20 World Cup-winning campaign last year.
Jofra Archer will ‘get better and better’ but England batting needs more bite
Archer took one for 81 on a hot and sunny afternoon in Bloemfontein.
England beaten by South Africa in first ODI despite blistering Jason Roy century
Roy scored 113 off just 91 balls but South Africa ran out winners by 27 runs.
England reach Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup final after winning thriller
With Australia 96 for nine chasing 100, the England captain trapped Maggie Clark lbw to send her side through to face India in the final.
Jofra Archer toils for little reward as South Africa set England 299 to win ODI
Archer believes he is at about “80 per cent” fitness so some rust was inevitable.
Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa to have all-female match officials
Three match referees and 10 umpires will form the 13-strong team.
5 talking points as England turn attention to ODI format in a World Cup year
England have travelled to South Africa for three one-day internationals.
England captain Jos Buttler backs Jason Roy as the opener bids to find his form
Roy will open the innings alongside Dawid Malan as part of a new-look top-order in Friday’s first ODI against South Africa.