Anderson shines as England draw level
James Anderson led the way as England delivered a ruthlessly efficient display to level the three-match one-day international series against New Zealand with an eight-wicket success.
Plenty of plaudits have come the Lancastrian’s way over the last few days after he became England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in a three-wicket loss at Hamilton, surpassing Sir Ian Botham’s mark of 528.
He added five more to his tally today, for the concession of just 34 runs, as New Zealand stuttered to a below-par 269 all out on a fantastic Napier surface after being asked to bat.
Even reaching that total was not easy, for it required a Ross Taylor century and remarkable blitz from skipper Brendon McCullum - whose 74 spanned only 36 deliveries.
At the halfway stage, some were wondering whether the Black Caps had gained the initiative following McCullum’s tour de force - yet England quickly put paid to those suggestions.
Indeed, Ian Bell’s 44 was the lowest score as Alastair Cook struck 78 to lay the platform for an outstanding display of composure from Jonathan Trott and Joe Root, who ended unbeaten on 65 and 79 respectively.
England's chase ultimately represented something of a cruise, a contrast to their opponent's innings, which saw McCullum and Taylor perform minor miracles in lifting the hosts following a rocky start.
While Anderson and Finn were impressive with the new ball, New Zealand certainly did not help themselves; BJ Watling and Hamish Rutherford showed little intent before perishing to the former, taken at first slip and short extra-cover respectively.
That meant Taylor was forced to drop anchor, briefly finding company in Kane Williamson and Grant Elliott, who struck 33 and 23.
All eyes were subsequently on Taylor and McCullum, particularly the former as he approached a ton having struggled for form since returning to the fold following a self-imposed exile, taken due to his dissatisfaction at being stripped of the captaincy.
The short boundaries were utilised perfectly as 100 runs came in the 8.5 overs they spent together prior to New Zealand’s new skipper, McCullum, being taken at long-on off Stuart Broad.
There would be an impassioned celebration from Taylor as he reached three figures soon after, but Anderson had the perfect tonic by mopping up the tail.
England rarely looked troubled in the reply as Cook, Bell and Trott went about their business coolly, mixing impressive running with necessary boundaries.
Their efforts were impressive, yet paled in comparison to Root’s.
The 21-year-old continues to look remarkably assured at the highest level, today becoming the first player to pass 30 in each of his opening six innings in ODIs.
He enjoyed some good fortune and was twice reprieved, yet prospered with an ability to score at 360 degrees, in the process setting up a thrilling finale to an enthralling series.
Live Text Commentary
8:25am - END OF MATCH; ENGLAND WIN BY EIGHT WICKETS - It's as easy as that, it seems. With nine needed, Root clips Mills over square-leg for six, punches two through cover, defends and then takes a single by dropping into the off side. That's as good an all-round display as I've seen from an England side in ODIs. It beautifully sets up the series at 1-1 with a game to play too.
8:20am - Trott has now taken up the baton, clipping gloriously over midwicket for a boundary before pulling another in the next over. England need just 15 from 24 balls.
8:13am - MISSED CHANCE! When your luck’s in... Root shows further class with another glorious scoop off Boult before enjoying some fortune as Taylor drops a dolly at square-leg.
8:07am - FIFTY! Trott (63b 1x4 0x6) - While Root has been inventive, Trott has been ruthlessly efficient. He brings up his half-century with a guide to third man for one. He wouldn't have it any other way.
8:03am - FIFTY! Root (38b 4x4 1x6) - Well, we have come to expect this level of poise from Root, but boy is it impressive. Southee sends down a slower-ball and the 21-year-old reaches the milestone with a powerful cut, his best shot of the day.
8am - More good work from Root, who powerfully pulls Southee through midwicket for another boundary. He then greets the re-introduced Williamson with a slog-swept six; such outstanding composure is being shown by the young man.
7:53am - MISSED CHANCE! - Root ups the ante, striking Mills impressively down the ground for four in a nine-run over. Yet he almost falls in the next, skying an attempted pull - and looking relieved as Brendon McCullum loses the ball in the lights. The youngster then rubs salt into the wounds, scooping Boult for four. In passing 30, he has become the first player to do so on six successive occasions at the start of a one-day international career.
7:46am - These two continue to just chip away, clearly aware that the required run-rate is far from out of hand at just over seven per over.
7:34am - That's a confident start to the batting powerplay from Trott, who picks the gap perfectly at backward point for his first boundary.
7:26am - Much like Trott, the ever-impressive Joe Root comes out with intent. He leans into a glorious cover-drive that earns three as he and his partner keep things ticking over.
7:16am - WICKET! Cook c & b Southee 78; Eng 149/2 - Well, where has that come from? Southee sends down a low full toss and Cook toe-ends it straight back to him.
7:08am - Cook is looking in fine fettle now, illustrated by a glorious cover-driven four off Boult. Trott has rotated well to reach 22 from 31 balls.
6:59am - Trott's positive footwork and running appears to have rubbed off on Cook, who - having played a couple of frenetic shots - punches McCullum confidently to the cover boundary.
6:52am - FIFTY! Cook (67b 5x4 1x6) - The skipper brings up an excellent half-century with a single to cover. At the other end, Trott is looking positive but has yet to find the boundary.
6:39am - WICKET! Bell c Rutherford b Williamson 44; Eng 89/1 - A feature of Bell's innings has been him not trying to hit the ball too hard. However, I think that has proved his undoing here; the opener departs having slog-swept - maybe a little too casually - Williamson into the hands of Hamish Rutherford, who took a good catch.
6:35am - This is very impressive from England, who look remarkably comfortable. After appearing edgy for a brief moment, Cook slog-sweeps McCullum for six over midwicket.
6:26am - REVIEW! -* Nathan McCullum has lured his brother, Brendon, into a ludicrous review having struck Bell, sweeping, on the pad. The ball hit him comfortably outside off stump. On we go.
6:22am - Bell profits from the off-spinner dropping short by rocking back and effortlessly cutting through cover. Fellow tweaker Kane Williamson is introduced at the other end and concedes four singles.
6:16am - Cook enjoys a couple of fortuitous moments as a skied pulls drops safe, just beside the man on the fence at midwicket, prior to him almost edging Southee behind. Nathan McCullum is coming into the attack.
6:09am - Bell and Cook continue to look untroubled, epitomised by the latter powerfully cutting Southee to the boundary.
5:59am - The Black Caps change bowlers at both ends, with James Franklin and Tim Southee being introduced. The former concedes just one in his opening set of six and the latter eight, via a clip over midwicket and flick through square-leg from Bell. England are 45 without loss after 10 overs chasing 270.
5:49am - After Cook pulls authoritatively to the boundary, Bell shows his intentions with an attempted drive over the top, albeit one he misses completely. The opener cashes in later, striking aerially through cover before punching in the same area off the back foot.
5:38am - These two look in control at the moment, but may get frustrated as excellent New Zealand fielding denies a couple of boundaries. They'll need more of that, the hosts.
5:26am - After Ian Bell plays out a Trent Boult maiden, Cook manufactures two cuts to the fence off Mills. Excellent batting from England's skipper as he looks to anchor this innings in the same manner Ross Taylor did for New Zealand.
5:18am - Alastair Cook gets England's reply off to a solid start, cutting Kyle Mills confidently through point for four.
New Zealand Innings
4:42am - END OF INNINGS - New Zealand 269 all out - And that's that. Kyle Mills hits Anderson straight to Woakes at long-on to leave England needing 270. They will fancy chasing that in these conditions.
4:38am - WICKET! Taylor c Buttler b Anderson 100; NZ 267/9 - Anderson grabs his fourth wicket as Taylor edges behind attempting to cut a delivery that cramped him for room.
4:36am - CENTURY! Taylor (116b 9x4 1x6) - Taylor greets Woakes by opening his blade and guiding through point for four before being struck on the pad by a full toss next ball. There was only a half-hearted appeal from England, but replays show it was plumb; everyone assumed there was an inside edge. The seamer is not too fussed, though, as gets a WICKET by bowling Tim Southee - after which a Taylor cover drive heralds his ton. That’s been a brilliant knock, and is greeted by an unsurprisingly passionate celebration.
4:28am - WICKET! McCullum c Buttler b Anderson 7; NZ 254/7 - Just when I thought we were going to get the McCullum Show: Part Two. Nathan shows signs of emulating little brother with a pulled six, but edges Anderson to Jos Buttler next ball.
4:23am - WICKET! Franklin c Root b Woakes 1; NZ 245/6 - Well, that's a far cry from what we saw from his skipper. James Franklin struggles for timing before pulling a Woakes bouncer straight to Root in the deep.
4:17am - WICKET! McCullum c Woakes b Broad 74; NZ 243/5 - Bringing back Finn for his final over works to an extent as he concedes just seven, yet McCullum is taking a liking to Broad and instantly delivers a straight six in the next. A four over cover follows, but the paceman holds his nerve, induces a false stroke and Woakes takes a good catch at long-on. That was a quite incredible 36-ball knock.
4:07am - FIFTY! McCullum (26b 6x4 3x6) - Maybe this is why the Black Caps wanted to lay a platform. McCullum launches Broad over long-off for another maximum, heralding his half-century, before edging a four over the wicketkeeper. A wide is then followed by a cut to the fence. England need to regain their composure.
4am - Woakes is learning a thing or two here as McCullum targets him. After crashing a six over midwicket, fours come via a pull, edge and drive in an over that costs 21. New Zealand are on the charge!
3:53am - And it has certainly started entertainingly! Taylor pulls and slog-sweeps Swann for fours before his partner smashes a six over cover, during which he fell over! The skipper slipped as he hit it, but still got maximum rewards. Outrageous.
3:51am - The batting powerplay, which yielded 21 runs and a wicket, ends with Taylor cutting Finn powerfully for four. This is a key period coming up, with the Kiwis' two most dangerous batsmen at the crease.
3:42am - Brendon McCullum, whose 69 not out steered New Zealand to victory in the first ODI, shows his intentions by cover driving Finn for four. That was a cracking shot.
3:34am - WICKET! Elliott c sub b Finn 22; NZ 143/4 - The return of Finn brings another breakthrough as Elliott top-edges an attempted pull to Jonny Bairstow in the deep. That was an easy catch, but England's fielding has been a joy to behold.
3:23am - REVIEW! - That's more like it; Taylor gets down on one knee and heaves Broad over midwicket for the innings' first six. He is rapped on the pad in the next over by Swann and England call for a review after umpire Rod Tucker delivers a not-out verdict. Replays show a big inside-edge and Tucker's decision is rightly upheld. The Black Caps simply cannot afford to lose Taylor, who responds with a slog-swept four, now.
3:15am - FIFTY! Taylor 81b 3x4 0x6) - Taylor, who seems content to knock runs around with Elliott, brings up his half-century with a clip to leg.
3:02am - It is fair to say this is not what New Zealand will have had in mind when they were asked to bat. In the 30th over, they have just moved into three figures with a Grant Elliott three. The pitch looks great, the outfield quick and the boundaries short. It's been something of a bizarre innings.
2:49am - WICKET! Williamson b Woakes 33; NZ 91/3 - I could have spoken all day about the first shot I described in the last update, but not so much this one. Williamson attempts to repeat the trick, with more of a cross-batted approach, and is bowled via an inside edge. That's a terrible time for New Zealand to lose a wicket.
2:45am - It’s Williamson who shows signs of aggression, moving across his stumps and clipping Woakes through midwicket. That was a sensational shot, reminiscent of Kevin Pietersen - albeit with a little less flamboyance. New Zealand appear to be targeting England’s least experienced bowler, although Swann also gets some tap as the number three advances and drives beautifully over mid-off for another four.
2:38am - New Zealand's adventure has been minimal in the last few overs, with off-spinner Graeme Swann exerting some pressure. The fifty partnership comes up as Taylor nudges to leg; I cannot help but feel he may up the ante. Woakes is coming back on.
2:27am - While Taylor has showed flashes of his best form, England will be delighted having restricted New Zealand to 59 for two after 20 overs. Impressive stuff.
2:12am - Taylor profits on some poor Woakes bowling, pulling and cutting fours in an over that yields eight. Time for a drink.
2:01am - The New Zealand duo are not willing to let England's first- and second-change bowlers settle. Williamson pulls Chris Woakes to the boundary, while Taylor finds the cover fence with an impressive back-foot punch off Stuart Broad.
1:52am - England are keeping the pressure on their hosts as Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson struggle to get the ball away.
1:37am - WICKET! Rutherford c Cook b Anderson 11; NZ 19/1 - Anderson has another; New Zealand are in trouble. The Lancastrian had a chat with Cook, who moved to short extra-cover - and the plan worked to perfection as Rutherford, who had struck Finn for four in the previous over, hit straight to England's skipper. He finished the job with a fine, diving catch.
1:25am - WICKET! Watling c Cook b Anderson 7; NZ 12/1 - And there's a deserved breakthrough. After Steven Finn sends down a cracking over, causing Rutherford problems aplenty, Anderson lures Watling into a drive and Alastair Cook pouches an easy chance at first slip.
1:19am - This is exceptional stuff from England, who are restricting Watling and Hamish Rutherford. New Zealand are 11 without loss after five overs, with the latter finding the opening boundary by clipping Anderson off his hips.
1:13am - Joe Root's stock could not be much higher right now, but that does not stop his energetic efforts in the field. He charges round on the boundary to deny BJ Watling, who edged Anderson through the third-slip region, a four.
1:05am - James Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, sends down a solid opening over that costs just three. There was not too much swing in evidence.
12:50am - The last time the sides met at this ground, in 2008, 680 runs were scored in an astonishing tie. It's a pitch that always seems remarkably flat, which bodes well for today.
12:40am - Here are the teams in full:
New Zealand: Hamish Rutherford, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum, Grant Elliott, James Franklin, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Trent Boult, Tim Southee.
England: Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
12:33am - ENGLAND WIN TOSS & BOWL - Cook calls correctly and opts to bowl on a traditionally exceptional McLean Park surface. This should be a run-fest.
12:30am - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live coverage of the second one-day international between New Zealand and England. Alastair Cook's side lost the opening encounter of three and must now win in Napier to keep alive their hopes of winning the series.