Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mr Reliable Saves England in Thriller

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mr Reliable Saves England in Thriller

Article excerpt

EOIN Morgan was thankful to England's "Mr Reliable" Chris Woakes and one moment of telling fortune which helped his team close out a four-run victory over New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

England, previously unsuccessful in all four one-day international visits to the Westpac Stadium, got the job done this time to go 2-1 up with two to play after Woakes defied home centurion Kane Williamson by defending 15 in the final over.

Williamson (112no) and Mitchell Santner put the Kiwis back in the contest after spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid had taken five wickets for 23 runs to reduce them to 103 for six in pursuit of 235 on an awkward surface.

The hosts benefited from a very marginal call when Santner squeezed Rashid to midwicket, where Jason Roy stooped to claim the low catch which would have made it 112 for seven, only for the third umpire to uphold the on-field 'soft signal' of not-out because there was no clear evidence the ball had carried.

England got their own critical break, however, when Santner was dismissed - for the first time in the series - in the unluckiest fashion of all, run-out at the non-striker's end after Woakes' attempt to catch a straight drive from Williamson was deflected on to the stumps.

The Kiwis still needed another 36 when Santner went in the 46th over - and although Williamson completed his hundred from 133 balls, he could not quite scramble the victory his near lone hand perhaps deserved.

Williamson's opposite number Morgan was full of praise for Woakes, who kept his cool after Williamson pulled a six off the third ball of the last over.

"Woakes is Mr Reliable," Morgan told Sky Sports. "He's a bit of an unsung hero for us with bat and ball."

In his post-match press conference, the England captain reflected on the contrasting moments which saw Santner reprieved and then dismissed. …

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