England won the decider ODI in Christchurch on Saturday (March 10) to clinch the ODI series 3-2. A low scoring match saw England wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow score 104 to guide his team as the Morgan led side won an important series after losing the Trans Tasman T20I series against the same opposition in a knockout game before the finals.
Post their defeat, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson blamed soft dismissals and top order glitch for the loss. New Zealand found themselves 93 for 6 after batting first, adding yet another collapse to a growing catalogue. Several players in the top seven have been out of form which hasn't helped, although Henry Nicholls' 55 at Hagley Oval was at least a welcome return to the runs, but some of New Zealand's play with the bat has been shocking. The dismissals of Martin Guptill, Tom Latham and Colin de Grandhomme today, chipping simple catches to England's fielders, were a case in point.
It was only due to an 84-run seventh wicket stand between Mitchell Santner, who hit a career-best 67, and Henry Nicholls (55) that got New Zealand through to 223, well below what they needed on a decent Hagley wicket
"There was definite decision making errors on our part," Williamson admitted. "Once again, it's in the moment and it is such a fine line and it's a decision and I think we lacked a little bit in that area with the bat. They never gave us an inch and we knew we needed to play good cricket and we didn't."
"I still felt we didn't play our best cricket collectively," he said. "In saying that there were a lot of good parts we can build on and take forward. Certainly, the fielding, bowling, and batting parts to our game all in one is something when you do play one of the best teams, is what you're wanting to achieve. It's not easy." added Williamson on their fielding in the game.
The defeat in the must-win game in Christchurch was New Zealand's third loss in deciding matches within the last 12 months after defeats to India late last year and South Africa last March.
"We lost the toss and they bowled very well. The ball did stand up a little bit but we had to weather that. Santner and Nicholls batted really well. A disappointing result from our side. It's such a shame. Putting all that aside, England are a very very good One-Day side and deserved to win the series. Too many soft dismissals throughout our innings. the wicket was a good surface and we did need a lot more from the bat. We weren't good today, which is such a tough pill to swallow. They have great depth, have a number of all-rounders and bat a long way down. So they can play the aggressive brand of cricket a lot longer. We know when we do well, we can beat anyone. The game keeps teaching us lessons" said Williamson in the post-match presentation reflecting on the game.