Will New Zealand Complete ODI Series Turnaround?

NZ will look to Taylor once again

Ross Taylor’s outstanding knock of 181 has forced a decider between New Zealand and England in their ODI series.

The Black Caps appeared to be heading towards a defeat after Eoin Morgan’s men posted 335 from their 50 overs, although the tourists wasted a promising position to push for 400.

However, Taylor’s brilliance guided his team to the victory in Dunedin, with the 34-year-old notching a career-best score.

England appeared to be on their way to a huge total when Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root were going well at the crease. Bairstow scored his third ODI century and was powering the ball over the fence with ease to leave the Three Lions at 267-1 in the 38th over.

The Yorkshireman’s dismissal for 138 sparked a collapse as Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Morgan all failed to break double figures. Root staved off the threat and reached his 11th ODI hundred, but England still needed a late flurry of boundaries from Tom Curran to post 335.

New Zealand got off to a terrible start as both Martin Guptill and Colin Munro were dismissed for ducks. Kane Williamson and Taylor steadied the ship, although troubled loomed when the skipper was out to Stokes for 45.

Latham continued to build with Taylor, surviving a drop from Ali. The duo put on 187 for the fourth wicket, which put the Black Caps within striking distance of victory.

A blast from Colin de Grandhomme all but sealed it before Taylor put them over the line. A thrilling contest awaits in Christchurch to decide the series.

New Zealand’s Top Batsman

NZ will look to Taylor once again

The Kiwis have been reliant on the brilliance of Taylor to keep them alive in the series. His two centuries have single-handedly won two matches, with the latter being one of the finest knocks in the history of the 50-over format. The 34-year-old has admitted that he’s in the form of his life and it showed at Hamilton and Dunedin. New Zealand have needed him at the peak of his powers. Munro has endured a miserable series at the top of the order, while Guptill has not been a lot better. Williamson’s hamstring injury has limited his ability to dominate, despite his century in the third ODI.

Taylor has been battling a thigh ailment, but struggled through the injury to get his team over the line. Mark Chapman has been called into the squad for the final match. Given the importance of the Test series, the Black Caps face a crucial decision. The imperious nature of Taylor’s form should see him get the nod to play. Expect him to continue his dominance with odds at +350   with 888Sport.

England’s Top Batsman

The Three Lions will be furious with themselves for allowing a position of strength to slip through their fingers. England could have wrapped up the series by playing to form in the final 12 overs at Dunedin. No team has scored more runs in the closing stages of innings than England since the 2015 World Cup. However, for once Buttler, Morgan, Stokes and Ali all failed to fire. It doesn’t happen very often, but the tourists will see the game as an opportunity missed following Bairstow’s brilliance and Root’s dogged consistency at the crease.

It was important for Bairstow to find touch at the crease after a slow start to the series. The 28-year-old had passed fifty only once in his last eight ODI matches prior to the contest in Dunedin. However, Bairstow proved his quality at the top of the innings with a complete performance, smashing spinners and paceman over the fence with ease. With Roy not being able to find top gear in the middle, England have a reliance on Bairstow for tempo to their innings. Back him for another leading display at odds of +375   with Betway.

New Zealand’s Top Bowler

Williamson’s men needed one bowler to come to the fore to stop England’s onslaught. Although it was Munro who made the breakthrough to remove Bairstow, Ish Sodhi stemmed the tide with four wickets to turn the match in the Black Caps’ favour. The leg-spinner notched the crucial scalp of Buttler for a second-ball duck before striking to dismiss Stokes and Ali. Sodhi has always been a top bowler in the 20-over format, but has struggled to adapt his game to the longer version of the sport.

However, he was able to rise to the occasion and hold his nerve even though Bairstow has taken the attack to him before his golden spell. Mitchell Santner has not been at his best with the ball, while Tim Southee and Trent Boult have been hot and cold. Sodhi has to seize his opportunity to nail down a permanent place in the side with another important effort. He does not have a great record at Christchurch, but back him to lead the wicket column at odds of +350   with 888Sport.

England’s Top Bowler

Woakes was under utilised in Dunedin

Morgan was guilty of a mistake in Dunedin bowling Chris Woakes for only eight overs of New Zealand’s chase. The seamer continued his good form by removing Guptill for a duck to put England on top in the early stages. He bowled a five-over spell and did not return until later in the innings when Taylor and Latham manoeuvred the home side into a winning position.

Woakes has been in impressive form with the ball in the 50-over format and will be keen to maintain his rhythm ahead of the Test series. The 29-year-old is gradually bringing his average closer to the 30-run mark per wicket, and has a solid record against the Kiwis. A good spell from the Warwickshire bowler at the top end could be enough to drive England over the line to a series win. Back him at +350   with 888Sport to lead the wicket column in Christchurch.

Winner

England will feel that they allowed an opportunity to slip through their grasp. Several of their key men fail to perform in Dunedin and they still almost secured the win. New Zealand have been reliant on the form of Taylor and Williamson throughout the series. Law of averages suggests that the two cannot continue at their incredible levels of production. Back England to secure the win at odds of -138   with Betway.

Tips Summary

England To Beat New Zealand 5th ODI
Saturday 10th March 2018 11:00 NZDT (Friday 9th March 2018 22:00 GMT)
Odds: -138

Ross Taylor To Be New Zealand’s Top Batsman
Saturday 10th March 2018 11:00 NZDT (Friday 9th March 2018 22:00 GMT)
Odds: +350

Ish Sodhi To Be New Zealand’s Top Bowler
Saturday 10th March 2018 11:00 NZDT (Friday 9th March 2018 22:00 GMT)
Odds: +350

Jonny Bairstow To Be England’s Top Batsman
Saturday 10th March 2018 11:00 NZDT (Friday 9th March 2018 22:00 GMT)
Odds: +375

Chris Woakes To Be England’s Top Bowler
Saturday 10th March 2018 11:00 NZDT (Friday 9th March 2018 22:00 GMT)
Odds: +350