ENGLAND have levelled the one-day international series with New Zealand with a convincing eight wicket victory in Napier.
New Zealand set England 270 runs for the win, which despite Ross Taylor’s seventh ODI century and 74 from 36 balls by Brendon McCullum, never seemed a big enough total.
England cruised to the total with 14 balls to spare, with Alastair Cook scoring 78 off 92, and Jonathan Trott (65 off 73) and Joe Root (78 off 56) combining for an unbeaten stand of 121.
Root was dropped twice, both times off Trent Boult.
New Zealand were without the injured Mitchell McClenaghan, but Tim Southee was only able to get one wicket on his return to the team following an injury layoff of his own.
The series will be decided at Eden Park at the weekend.
In their turn at bat, New Zealand were bowled out with seven balls remaining.
They should have scored more however, with Taylor and McCullum blasting 100 off 54 balls for the fifth wicket.
Taylor’s ton was his first since the Sri Lanka tour, and first since he returned to the team following his loss of the captaincy.
Jimmy Anderson was the standout English bowler, taking five wickets.