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England levels Test

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Friday, February 22, 2013

AUCKLAND - England have cruised to an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Napier to square their one-day cricket series at 1-1.

Set a target of 270, the tourists produced a well-judged run chase to get home with more than two overs to spare on Wednesday.

All four England batsman who spent time in the middle made contributions, with youngster Joe Root top-scoring with an unbeaten 79 off 56 balls.

It was the 22-year-old Yorkshireman's second half-century of the series.

Skipper Alastair Cook and Ian Bell laid the platform with an opening stand of 89 before Bell was caught on the square leg boundary off spinner Kane Williamson for 44.

Cook was looking comfortable when, on 78, he hit a low full toss back into the hands of bowler Tim Southee.

Jonathan Trott and Root saw England through, with Trott also getting his second half-century of the series with an unbeaten 65.

The third and final match is in Auckland tomorrow.

New Zealand's innings was built around a century by Ross Taylor and a blazing knock from captain Brendon McCullum.

But the Black Caps failed to bat out their 50 overs and their total never quite looked like enough on a McLean Park pitch that seemed to have plenty of runs.

Taylor got exactly 100, his seventh ODI ton and his first big score since he returned to the international arena from a self-imposed exile after his dumping as captain in early December.

Having got to three figures, he fell to the next ball he faced, caught behind as he tried to cut a James Anderson delivery.

Taylor put on 100 runs for the fifth wicket with McCullum, who did most of the scoring as he smacked 74 off just 36 balls.





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