Mount Maunganui - All-rounder Ben Stokes set aside his off-field troubles to
steer England to a six-wicket win in the second one-day international against New
Zealand on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old produced a man-of-the-match performance in
just his second appearance for England since being sidelined over a nightclub
incident five months ago.
Stokes took two wickets for 42 then hit an unbeaten 63 as
England easily chased down New Zealand's target of 224 at Mount Maunganui.
"It was good to get a bit of time out in the
middle," he said after England levelled the five-match series 1-1.
"It's good to get out here and train and implement it
in the games to make sure I was out there at the end. Hopefully it's a stepping
stone for other games coming up."
Stokes only joined England this month after pleading not
guilty in a British court to a charge of affray, with the controversy forcing
him out of the Australian leg of their tour, including The Ashes.
After England finished on 225 for four in reply to New
Zealand's 223 all out, captain Eoin Morgan was full of praise for his star
"Ben's a big character, big in our changing room, he
lifts everybody in the side when he performs like he did today," he said.
"It's great to see him back in fine form."
Trent Boult made early inroads as New Zealand tried to defend
their modest total, dislodging Jason Roy for eight and Joe Root for nine.
Jonny Bairstow made a rapid-fire 37, then Morgan and Stokes
dug in for an 88-run partnership that had England at 144 for three after 25
Morgan notched his first ODI 50 in 11 innings off 48 balls
before departing on 62 before Stokes brought up 50 off 54 balls with a six
edged over the keeper's head.
Earlier, Black Cap spinner Mitchell Santner scored his
maiden limited overs half-century as the New Zealand tail to give the home
team's score some respectability.
Santner's unbeaten 63 off 52 balls was the highlight of New
Zealand's innings, with in-form opener Martin Guptill also scoring 50.
But a superb fielding display from England saw New Zealand
bowled out for 223 with two balls remaining.
England pulled off a string of sharply taken catches and ran
out four batsman, ensuring that every chance their bowlers created resulted in
New Zealand never recovered from an early double blow by
Woakes, who dismissed Colin Munro for one in his first over then Mark Chapman
for the same score in his second.
David Willey's prowess in the field was responsible for Ross
Taylor's departure on 10, swooping on the ball at backward point and firing it
to Jos Buttler to break the stumps.
The loss of Taylor, a century-maker in the opening fixture,
left New Zealand on 48 for three with Guptill holding the first half of the
His half-century came off 84 balls but he failed to push on
and was caught by Roy on 50 trying to sweep Ali's spin over the boundary.
Colin de Grandhomme contributed 38 but then it was left to
Santner to provide late resistance.
The lanky spinner hit a match-winning 45 in the opening
match but his heroics at Mount Maunganui were not enough to get the Black Caps
over the line.