London (UK): Following the 181-run win over New Zealand in the third ODI, England skipper Jos Buttler lauded Ben Stokes and Dawid Malan for their batting performances, adding that the team is heading in the right direction.
A record-breaking knock by Ben Stokes coupled with solid performances by bowlers guided an all-round England to a 181-run win over New Zealand in the third ODI of the four-match series at The Oval on Wednesday.
“Really pleased with the performance. Spoke at the toss about wanting to be more aggressive. Malan and Stokes had a brilliant partnership to put the pressure back on. There is levels we can keep achieving. There is more in the tank as well, which is exciting. That is the England way. Stokesy’s innings was incredibly special. Dawid’s done brilliantly well everytime he has got his chance. That opening spell was as good as it gets from Woakes and Topley. I am really pleased with today. The most important thing was that message of being aggressive. It feels we are heading in the right direction,” said Buttler in a post-match presentation.
Coming to the match, England was put to bat first by the Kiwis and were struggling at 13/2 when Stokes came out. He had a 199-run partnership for the third wicket with Dawid Malan (96 in 95 balls, 12 fours and a six) and a 78-run stand for the fourth wicket with skipper Jos Buttler (38 in 24 balls, six fours and a six), which took England to 368 in 48.1 overs despite a lower-order collapse.
Trent Boult (5/51) and Ben Lister (3/69) were the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis.
In the chase of 339, Kiwis were rocked by the pace trio of Chris Woakes, Reece Topley and Sam Curran and were struggling at 70/5. Glenn Phillips (72 in 76 balls, with five fours and two sixes) and Rachin Ravindra (28 in 22 balls, five fours) tried fighting back but NZ was bundled out for 187 in just 39 overs.
Woakes (3/31) and Livingstone (3/16) were the pick of the bowlers for NZ. Topley took two, Curran and Moeen Ali got one each.
Stokes took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
England is leading the series 2-1 with a match to go.