Williamson hundred in vain as England beat Black Caps in thriller


Kane Williamson's sensational century ultimately proved in vain as England won a thrilling ODI by four runs to take a 2-1 lead in an enthralling series.

Needing a four to draw or six to win off the last ball, Williamson was unable to make clean contact with a Chris Woakes yorker as the tourists celebrated a gritty win on a difficult Wellington pitch.

It was tough luck for the brilliant New Zealand batsman, who clubbed 112 off 143 in a textbook innings that had threatened to unravel when the hosts slipped from 80-1 to 103-6, with Man of the Match Moeen Ali's 3-36 doing the damage

A brilliant 96-run stand with Mitchell Santner put New Zealand back on track, but the latter was dismissed in unfortunate circumstances when a Williamson strike was deflected onto his wicket by Woakes while he was out of his crease.

Williamson, who became the fastest New Zealander to reach 5,000 ODI runs, ensured a nail-biting finish, but a hard-fought 71 stand from Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes in England's score of 234 proved crucial.

Skipper Williamson came to the crease in just the third over and England toiled as he and Colin Munro put on a 68 second-wicket stand.

But Ben Stokes took a fine diving catch at short cover to oust Munro (49) off Adil Rashid's bowling, sparking a collapse as Moeen struck in consecutive balls to send Mark Chapman (8) and Tom Latham (0) packing.

Rashid then had Henry Nicholls (0) lbw and Colin De Grandhomme (3) hoicked Moeen to long on to leave New Zealand reeling.

Williamson, ably assisted by Santner, swung the momentum back in New Zealand's favour, though, keeping the scoreboard ticking while boundaries off Stokes and Tom Curran sped up his knock.

Woakes' quick-thinking and Santner's misfortune stemmed the tide, but Williamson brought up the hundred with a superb lofted stroke over Morgan off Curran in the penultimate over.

But Curran made sure New Zealand still needed 15 off Woakes' final six balls and, despite lashing a six over deep square leg, Williamson could not get them over the line.

Earlier, Jason Roy (15), Joe Root (20) and Jonny Bairstow (19) all failed to build on starts, before the pitch and the bowling of De Grandhomme (1-24) and Ish Sodhi (3-53) restricted Morgan and Stokes to just 13 runs from the first 46 balls of their stand.

Morgan sent Sodhi for six, and again clubbed Munro over the ropes to up the pace, though Stokes' battling knock took until the 53rd ball of his innings to yield a boundary.

Tim Southee ended the stand by bowling Morgan, before Stokes sent Sodhi to long-off, but Jos Buttler (29), Moeen (23) and Woakes (16) added crucial late runs.