A masterful century by Jonny Bairstow complemented an exceptional bowling spell as England cruised to a seven-wicket victory over New Zealand to claim the one-day global series 3-2 in Christchurch on Saturday. Five months after the incident in Bristol that led to a not-guilty plea to a charge of affray, Ben Stokes returned to global cricket.
They have been tested more in this series than many of late, and have slipped occasionally, but such a comprehensive win in a decider is a feather in their cap.
"Throughout this series, there were some very good one-off performances, but they probably overshadowed a batting line-up that hasn't quite fired". The result underlined their status as bona fide contenders to win next year's pinnacle 50-over event.
Bairstow was intent on completing the job in style, following his century in Dunedin three days ago with another brutal innings - including 22 off one over from leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
Bairstow eventually reached 104 from 60 balls, his fourth ton in the format and second in succession. Hales adjusted well to catch Santner in the deep, before Bairstow took a superb, one-handed diving catch on the boundary to dismiss Tim Southee for 10.
He has been named in a New Zealand XI side to face England in a two-day red ball match in Hamilton on Friday and Saturday, but Hesson said he was "unlikely" to play in that.
New Zealand still struggling to find the gaps in the field.
Latham contribution was 67 runs off 71 balls, but it was the support he provided to Ross who played a knock of his life in scoring 181* to level the series.
Santner, who rescued New Zealand in the first match, hit a personal-best 67 while Nicholls was out for 55 to give the innings some substance.
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England presented tight line-and-length bowling and committed fielding.
Add the fact New Zealand lost their third wicket before reaching 100 - or getting past the 21st over - in each match.
The Black Falcons from the Royal New Zealand Airforce aerobatics team made a cameo at 400 feet over Hagley Oval to mark the start.
Colin Munro went on the second ball he faced, caught behind off Chris Woakes for the third time in five innings and for his second consecutive duck. The ball found a resting place in Jos Buttler's gloves.
Furthermore, when you have a player as good as Collin Munro batting as low as 5 or 6 that are bound to concern team management.
New Zealand's test squad will be predictable with wicketkeeper BJ Watling likely to be the only major change from the side that beat the West Indies 2-0 in early December. It meant, in the four matches he played, Kane Williamson was exposed early.
Mark Chapman, batting at No.5 in Taylor's absence, looked ill at ease against the spin of Ali coming around the wicket.