Cricket - Root guides England to Napier win

Second ODI, McLean Park, Napier: New Zealand (269: Taylor 100, B McCullum 74, Anderson 5-34) lost to England (270-2: Root 79*, Cook 78, Trott 65*). England level the series at 1-1.

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Cricket - England thrash New Zealand to win ODI series
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Joe Root of England plays a shot against New Zealand during the second cricket match of their one-day international series at McLean Park in Napier February 20, 2013. (Reuters)

England levelled the series after a confident eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second ODI in Napier.

Having won the toss and put the hosts into bat first, James Anderson and Steven Finn delivered a masterclass to limit New Zealand on a good pitch for batting.

But Ross Taylor's patient century, and an extraordinary 36-ball 64 from Brendon McCullum, gave New Zealand hope.

Anderson mopped up the tail and claimed a five-wicket haul as England recovered from McCullum's pyrotechnics to bowl out New Zealand for 269.

They started well with Alastair Cook (78) and Ian Bell (44) laying a platform, before Jonathan Trott (65 not out) and Joe Root (79 not out) finished it off with plenty to spare.

The series now goes to a decider in Auckland on February 23.

Root stole the show for England - his mature yet mischievous 56-ball innings steered England home in style. He has only just turned 22 years old, but becomes the first batsman in ODI history to begin his career with six straight scores of over 30.

He scored briskly, and though McCullum did shell a chance to catch him via a steepling top-edge midway through his innings, it shoudn't detract from what was a bold knock, with ramp shots and scoops in addition to some orthodox, clean-hitting.

Trott's knock from 73 balls by comparison was sedate but it was also perfectly-judged to accompany Root and ensure England got over the line.

New Zealand, who had replaced the injured Mitchell McClenaghan with Trent Boult and recalled Tim Southee in place of Andrew Ellis, had a different look to their bowling attack but could do little to stifle England.

Cook and Bell played their shots and kept in touch with the required run rate from the off, meaning the target never disappeared out of reach.

269 all out from New Zealand was under-par on a ground which, last time the two sides met here in 2008, had seen a tie with both teams scoring 340.

Finn, bowling off a shortened run, was hostile and quick, while Anderson was his usual accurate self.

He drew BJ Watling's edge and provoked a false shot from debutant Hamish Rutherford as New Zealand limped through their opening overs. Taylor and Kane Williamson (33) rebuilt, but they had only reached 59 for two from 20 overs.

They still looked desperately behind the game when McCullum came to the crease at the start of the powerplay, but his cameo bullied England and threatened to turn the game on its head. Graeme Swann, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad all got the treatment, his batting causing them to forget the basics of defensive bowling.

McCullum holed out, which sparked a late collapse - although not before Taylor had reached an emotional hundred in front of his home fans.

But that was about as good as it got for the home side on a day when they were comprehensively beaten.

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