Jos Buttler served the Trent Bridge crowd to a treat hitting 47 not out from 16 balls as England claimed a 34-run consolidation victory to take some pride from a series loss in the third and final one-day international versus New Zealand.
Buttler sparked in the final three overs of the first innings taking England to a strong total of 287-6 at Trent Bridge and in reply New Zealand were bowled out for 253.
A good day in the field for skipper Alistair Cook began well with the news that Stuart Broad and Steve Finn were back after injury, while Ravi Bopara came in and James Tredwell replaced Graeme Swann.
The tourists put England into bat first and Cook was given out lbw for duck off Mitchell McClenaghan’s (3-54) in the opening over.
Ian Bell then laid the platform with a steady innings of 82 from 96 balls and received useful support from Jonathan Trott (37) and Joe Root (33) which gave Eoin Morgan and Buttler enough overs to up the run rate in the latter overs.
After the dismissal of the middle order England were 153-4 (35 overs) and Ravi Bopara made a slow 28, his wicket brought out Buttler.
In the 46th over with England on 210-5, the sixth-wicket partnership was worth 62 runs from 22 deliveries. Morgan played really well for his 49 run knock, after taking 16 balls to score eight runs, he smashed three sixes (two over long-on and one over long-off).
Buttler played two superbly timed scoop shots for a six and one for a boundary as he hit six fours and three sixes in a quick-fire innings giving England 287.
The Black Cap’s started the chase with good pace reaching the ninth over at 70-1 after Broad removed Luke Ronchi for 22 caught by mid-on fielder Trott.
Martin Guptill, fresh from his scores of 103 not and 189 not out in the previous matches in the series, scoring 38 off 36 balls before Tredwell bowled him through the gates.
Root struck in his first over defeating Kane Williamson’s bat with an off break, Colin Munro and Brendon McCullum fell cheaply leaving New Zealand on the brink of defeat on 111-5 in the 20th over.
Ross Taylor found Nathan McCullum’s help and the seventh-wicket pair added 53 before Broad held a good catch over his shoulder off Tim Bresnan (2-27) to get rid of McCullum (28).
Taylor brought up his half-century off 72 balls and with the run-rate climbing he increased the scoring dispatching consecutive sixes off Tredwell (3-51) in the 43rd over and he was dismissed when Finn showed some clever footwork throwing the ball back to Bresnan to complete the catch.
Kyle Mills hit a few mighty blows at the end but were finally bowled out for 253 in the 47th over giving England a 34-run win.
New Zealand’s victories at Lord’s and Ageas Bowl means a series triumph of 2-1 ahead of the start of the ICC Champions Trophy.
England start their campaign against Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday, while New Zealand will play Sri Lanka in Cardiff the next day with both teams making up Group A in the eight-team tournament.