“BJ or Root?” proclaimed the coarse Kiwi fan’s banner unfurled in Eden Park’s East Stand. In the battle of the innuendo monikered, Yorkshireman Joe continues to provide satisfaction for England.

Since having been given his head late last year, the young allrounder has been superb in all three matches and was fittingly there at the series’ climax to cream the winning runs through mid wicket and seal the ANZ ODI Series for his team. While the latter stands proud across all formats of the game, Watling’s limp dismissal early on rather set the mood for his side’s loss by five wickets as England’s fast bowlers once again set up victory over the Black Caps in the first half hour.

There was no afternoon delight for the home supporters. James Anderson’s swinging deliveries and Steve Finn’s pace (9-3-27-3) simply ripped through the New Zealand top order. Grant Elliott and Ross Taylor’s stubborn fifty partnership, then captain Brendan McCullum’s spanking of 79 from 68 balls threatened something of a second coming. But when the Kiwi captain holed out to Anderson off the bowling of Graeme Swann, his departure signalled the premature finish to New Zealand’s innings, 185 all out from only 43.5 overs.

Root, as he has done all series, kept the British end up. Finishing undefeated on 28, his iron fisted resolve again took England home. England’s top three; Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, who top scored with 46, and Jonathon Trott set up the victory. Eoin Morgan then looked in great touch for his 39 from 24, but lacked the staying power to complete the task. After Joss Buttler couldn’t finish off New Zealand, Chris Woakes’s late introduction gave Root a hand. Job done for England.

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