Thanks to Ross Taylor’s 18th one-day international century in a stand of 178 with Tom Latham (79) and then some late muscle from Mitchell Santner – who hit four sixes and two fours from 27 balls in his unbeaten 45 batting at number 8. New Zealand, therefore, clinched their ninth successive ODI victory to go 1-0 up with four to play.
After the victory Kiwi skipper, Kane Williamson lauded the effort of the batting duo and also credited Santner's effort with the bat.
"England had a competitive total and it required some skillful batting to get over the line - and we certainly saw that with the partnership between Tom Latham and Ross Taylor," said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. "It was a very good game of cricket - a very even game of cricket. Credit to England - it was a very tough game that ebbed and flowed. It's nice to get over the line" Williamson further added.
For Latham, trying to nail down the position of New Zealand's wicket-keeper in one-day cricket, his 79 was a welcome return to form after a lean run averaging 17.42 from his last eight ODI matches. "Guys have roles and it was great today to see Ross, who has been in great form this season, do that again; for Tom Latham to play the way he did and for Mitchell Santner - we know he can hit a big ball - to do that at the end," said Williamson.
In the post-match press conference, Ross Taylor spoke on the various aspects of the game which went right down to the wire.
"Most of the batters struggled throughout the innings - [Joe] Root and Tommy Lath probably the two exceptions," Taylor said. "The two fours that Tommy Lath hit off [David] Willey [early in his innings] sort of [gave us the] momentum shift and they weren't able to put as much pressure on us and we were able to get that partnership going from there".
"You always knew in Hamilton that you were only a couple of big hits away from keeping up with the run-rate as well. They made a few plays - bringing Rashid on to get me out, that was a bold move, then to continue him, also. Credit to this guy [Santner] - Tommy and I did well but the way he was able to get us across the line was very important." Taylor added.
"When we broke that partnership between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham we were in the game but didn't quite have enough in the tank," England captain Eoin Morgan said on his part.