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England level series

NAPIER – A five-wicket haul by James Anderson backed by a dominant England batting display set up an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the second One-Day International in Napier today.

Facing a series defeat after an upset loss in the first match in Hamilton, England bounced back after standout performances from Anderson and up-and-coming batsman Joe Root.

England’s top order rose to the occasion, with half-centuries to captain Alastair Cook (78), Jonathan Trott (65) and Root (79), the 22-year-old tipped as a future star.

But the foundation for England’s victory came from a miserly five for 34 from Anderson, who swept through New Zealand’s batsmen to restrict the home side’s total.

“We gave them nothing to get going really, we took some wickets and put them under pressure,” Cook said.

Anderson’s scalps included both the Black Caps opening batsmen and Ross Taylor. His century late in New Zealand’s innings threatened to set England a formidable total, along with a quickfire 74 from 36 balls from Brendon McCullum.

The Black Caps made a slow start after being sent into bat on a tame wicket and were all out for 269 after 48.5 overs, with England reaching the target of 270 after 47.4 overs.

“We were probably about 20 runs under par… with 270, I thought we needed early wickets but we weren’t able to get them,” said Black Caps skipper McCullum.

New Zealand, missing injured opener Martin Guptill, were pedestrian, with the first boundary coming when Hamish Rutherford pulled a delivery from Anderson in the fifth over.

Anderson dismissed openers B.J. Watling (7) and ODI debutant Rutherford (11) cheaply as New Zealand’s frustration mounted and the home side were on just 22 runs after 12 overs.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor gradually increased the run rate, putting on 72 together to take the Black Caps to 91 before Williamson (33) dragged a ball from Chris Woakes on to his stumps to slow the momentum again.

New Zealand’s struggle was apparent when Taylor, in his best performance since returning to the international fold after being axed as captain late last year, brought up his half century off 81 balls with only three fours.

Backed by McCullum, his successor as captain, Taylor notched a century off 116 balls with a four but was dismissed by the next delivery he faced.

The New Zealand tail failed to fire, leaving England with a tricky but achievable target.††

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