Manchester - England set themselves up for the Ashes by ensuring New Zealand's
tour ended in a comprehensive defeat as they thrashed the Black Caps by 56 runs
in the lone Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
New Zealand, set 192 for victory, collapsed to 135 all out as they lost
their last five wickets for four runs in 12 balls.
For England, it was the ideal way to sign off ahead of the Ashes after they
had shared the two Test series 1-1 and defeated New Zealand, who humiliated
them en route to the World Cup final, 3-2 in a thrilling one-day international
The first Test against Australia starts in Cardiff on July 8.
Tuesday saw left-arm paceman David Willey (three for 22) and fast bowler
Mark Wood (three for 26) mark their England debuts at this level in style.
England's Joe Root was named man-of-the-match for his 68 in the hosts' 191
"This felt a million miles away after the World Cup," said England
white-ball captain Eoin Morgan.
"Now we have won this game and the ODI series, it reinforces to the
guys that, it might not always come off, but we can beat the best in the world
in any game of cricket."
New Zealand were 101 for five at the half-way stage but then collapsed in
spectacular fashion as England won with 22 balls to spare.
"I thought that 190-odd was about par. I was not unhappy at half-time,
but we batted a bit amateurishly to be honest," said New Zealand captain
"Credit to England, we wish them all the best for what is to
New Zealand's Kane Williamson top-scored for the Black Caps with a typically
elegant 57 but his side's hopes of victory effectively ended in a 15th over
where they lost three wickets.
Mitchell Santner was bowled by Wood and, two balls later, Williamson was run
out by Willey's brilliant direct hit, one-handed pick-up and throw from cover.
Williamson faced 37 balls, including eight fours.
Next ball Tim Southee fell for a golden duck as he drove Wood straight to
England captain Eoin Morgan at mid-off.
New Zealand were now 131 for eight and Willey took the last two wickets in
two balls, dismissing Nathan McCullum and Mitchell McClenaghan.
Brendon McCullum, in what could have been his last international innings in
England, produced a typically quickfire 35.
He pulled Steven Finn for six and drove Willey high back over his head.
McCullum then clouted Wood's first two balls at this level for six.
But the Durham paceman had his revenge when his sixth delivery saw McCullum
bowled after missing a low full toss.
McCullum faced just 15 balls, including two fours and four sixes.
Ross Taylor, dropped on 17, fell for the same score when he skied
leg-spinner Adil Rashid to Willey at mid-off.
And 89 for three soon became 95 for four when new batsman Colin Munro missed
with a booming drive and was bowled by Ben Stokes.
The all-rounder then made it two wickets for six runs in six balls by when
Luke Ronchi, trying to 'ramp' the ball, lobbed a gentle catch to opposing
gloveman Jonny Bairstow.
Earlier, left-arm spinner Santner marked his Twenty20 international debut by
taking two for 28, after again opening the bowling.
Santner had taken three wickets for four runs in seven balls at the start of
England's chase in Saturday's fifth one-day international in Durham only for
the hosts to win by three wickets.
England's 76 for two became 79 for three as Santner produced a beauty that
spun past the outside edge to bowl Bairstow, promoted up the order following
his match-winning 83 not out on Saturday, for one.
England, however, scored 23 runs in a 15th over bowled by experienced
off-spinner Nathan McCullum.
Root's 46-ball innings, including eight fours and a six, ended when he skyed
McClenaghan to point.