SOUTHAMPTON: Tim Southee and debutant Ben Wheeler took three wickets apiece as New Zealand dismissed England for 302 in the third one-day international at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.
England captain Eoin Morgan made 71 on a ground where he averages 70.5 in eight one-day international innings.
And all-rounder Ben Stokes made a dashing 68 off 47 balls.
But England lost their last five wickets for 14 runs, with 28 balls of the innings still left when Steven Finn was last man out.
Southee finished with three for 44 in 8.2 overs and Wheeler, replacing Trent Boult after his fellow left-arm paceman was ruled out of the rest of the tour with a back injury, an impressive three for 63 in 10 overs.
Left-hander Morgan, fresh from his blistering 88 off 47 balls in the second of this five-match series at The Oval on Friday, appeared to be heading towards his third ODI hundred at the Rose Bowl until he was bowled slogging at Kane Williamson’s off-spin.
Together with Joe Root (54), he put on 105 for the third wicket after England had lost two wickets for no runs in three balls to be 34 for two.
Morgan opted to bat first after winning the toss on Sunday.
It was an unsurprising decision given England had piled up a record 408 for nine during a 210-run win after being sent into bat in the series opener at Edgbaston, while New Zealand levelled the five-match contest at 1-1, albeit under the Duckworth/Lewis method, after making 398 for five at The Oval.
Alex Hales (23) became Wheeler’s first ODI wicket when he fended a delivery angled across him to Southee at second slip.
And 34 for one became 34 for two when Jason Roy was bowled by a Southee nip-backer.
Root and Morgan repaired the damage.
As the sun broke through the clouds and conditions for batting eased, Morgan struck Mitchell Santner for six over long-on.
But the left-arm spinner should have dismissed him for 33 only for wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi to miss the legside stumping chance with Morgan well down the pitch.
Root completed an elegant fifty off just 52 balls but was out soon aftewards when a huge deflection off his pads saw him bowled by Santner.
Stokes slog-swept Santner for six and reverse-swept Grant Elliott for four.
Morgan compiled a 67-ball fifty and then lofted medium-pacer Elliott for a straight six.
However, he fell aiming across the line at Williamson.
Stokes went to a 31-ball fifty with a huge six over mid-wicket off Mitchell McClenaghan, while Billings struck three fours in as many balls off the same bowler — including two audacious scoops.
But Wheeler, scuppering England hopes of a 350-plus total, took two more key wickets when he dismissed both Billings, caught at short third man, and Stokes, bowled leg-stump.
Billings’s exit sparked a slump that saw 288 for six soon transformed into 302 all out. – AFP