Bairstow credits England bowlers after whirlwind century

Jonny Bairstow

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor ran freely while completing some fitness drills on Friday, with the team to make a decision on his availability for Saturday's series-deciding fifth one-day match against England just before the start of the game. His fourth in the format and second in four days secured a 3-2 win, also putting him on the podium as third fastest scored by an Englishman in ODIs.

England captain Eoin Morgan, who won the toss and opted to bowl first, said: "I thought our bowlers set the tone after winning the toss, took advantage of the bounce, good line and length, the execution was outstanding, and we created opportunities by building pressure".

Limping and often grimacing in pain, with his troubles made worse at times by cramping, Taylor reached the 19th century of his one-day worldwide career, surpassed his highest score of 131 and steered New Zealand to 339-5 with three balls to spare.

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.

Bairstow dominated the bowlers, smashing nine fours and six sixes as he thrashed a century from just 58 balls.

"I'm really happy", said Bairstow, whose face said it all. It's worth noting that all four of those hundreds have come since his ascension as opener.

Yet this result in a winner-takes-all contest can partly lay that ghost to rest.

Bairstow, who scored 138 in the fourth game in Dunedin, smashed a 58-ball century with eight boundaries and six sixes as he combined with Alex Hales (61) in a 155-run opening stand in ideal batting conditions. Dropped at the start of the series, with head coach Trevor Bayliss anxious a lack of red ball cricket could be detrimental to his game, his measured 61 offers others reassurance and him credit in the bank.

In a match which did not live up to its billing as a fitting tussle for a hard-fought series, Bairstow at least ensured a spectacle as he dominated the ruthless chase until he had to go after dislodging his own stumps as he made room to try to dispatch another boundary off Trent Boult.

Morgan had a short stay for eight while Ben Stokes was 26 not out at the end with Joe Root on 23.

New Zealand lost Colin Munro in the first over to Woakes (three for 32), for a second-ball duck in the first over when he mistimed an attempted leg-side flick to loop an easy catch for Jos Buttler. Rashid, given the luxury of one on each side of the wicket, took his best haul of the series with three wickets of equal importance.

New Zealand, sent in to bat, stumbled to 93 for six as the top-order fell with an all-too-familiar regularity before Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner put some steel in the innings with an 84-run stand.

However, Bairstow credited England's bowlers for the series-clinching victory.

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