POST TIME: 7 March, 2018 09:30:28 AM
Bairstow, Root tons give England 335
Independent Online Desk

Bairstow, Root tons give England 335

A thunderous ton from Jonny Bairstow (138) and a well compiled 101-ball 102 from Joe Root gave England bid for a series win a major boost as they posted 335 for 9 in the fourth One-Day International against New Zealand in Dunedin on Wednesday.

However, a late collapse did dent England's chances of posting a much bigger score but the visitors will certainly take the total considering New Zealand's middle-order fragility.

With a green carpet laid at the University Oval, Kane Williamson had no hesitation in inviting England to bat first after the toss. However, Jason Roy (42 off 41) and Bairstow helped England race off the blocks and gave the team the much-needed brisk start to put the pressure back on the hosts.

There were streaky boundaries early on with the pitch offering just enough to keep the bowlers interested. England's opening duo, however, laid to rest any thoughts that the track had any real demons.

With the sun out after spells of rain on the eve of the match, the moisture evaporated quickly and the track eased out considerably. Roy and Bairstow scored 77 for the first wicket before the former fell in the 11th over to Ish Sodhi.

Root walked in at three and got to business pretty much from the get-go. He got settled quickly and was perhaps also helped by the aggressive approach from Bairstow.

The wicketkeeper-batsman got to his half-century in the 17th over off 38 balls. Root too got to his fifty as the duo collaborated to add 190 runs for the second wicket. New Zealand had the opportunity to cut Bairstow's innings when he was on 74 but Mitchell Santner's run of poor catching continued as he dropped a dolly at cover off Trent Boult.

There was no respite for the hosts as the England opener effortlessly marched to his ton off 87 deliveries in the 32nd over. England had 220 on the board by the 34th over and had nine wickets in hand for the last 16 overs.

Bairstow had a chance to push past Roy's score of 180 and post the highest individual score for England. The visitors also had a chance to post the highest total on the venue and go past 360 scored by New Zealand against Sri Lanka in 2015.

However, Bairstow fell looking for quick runs and New Zealand staged a remarkable comeback courtesy a dramatic collapse. From 267 for 1, England slipped to 288 for 7 with the middle-order falling like a pack of cards.

Ish Sodhi picked up a four-wicket haul and ended with 10-0-58-4 from his quota as Root saw batsmen fail to capitalise from the other end.

Root eventually got to his ton in the 47th over - his 11th in ODIs. The last time he scored a ton in ODIs was in the opening game of the ICC Champions Trophy against Bangladesh last year and since then had six scores of 50 or more but failed to convert them. Tom Curran scored 22 off 10 to lift the side over the 330-run mark.Cricbuzz.