Napier: Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Jonathan Trott brought up confident half centuries as England beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the second limited-overs international on Wednesday to level the three-match series at 1-1. (Agencies)
New Zealand's former captain Ross Taylor made 100 and present captain Brendon McCullum 74 as the home side was dismissed for 269 after being sent in to bat at McLean Park.
England skipper Cook scored with 78, Root made an unbeaten 79 and Jonathan Trott reached 65 not out as the tourists chased down the total with 14 balls to spare.
The deciding match is in Auckland on Saturday. Cook, who was out for 4 in the opening match of the series last Friday, paced the first half of the innings in partnerships of 89 with Ian Bell (44) for the first wicket and 60 with Jonathan Trott for the second. He reached his half century from 68 balls and was out in the 32nd over when England were 149-2.
Trott and youngster Joe Root then saw England comfortably home. Root made his third half century in only his sixth one-day international and smashed his 79 from 56 balls. Trott came to the wicket exactly 12 overs before Root but followed him to a half century -- he reached the mark from 63 balls with one boundary while Root did so from 39 balls with four fours and a six.
Trott was at the wicket when Root hit the winning single off Kyle Mills in the 48th over.
"It's been a bizarre series, really," McCullum said. "They win one, we win one, they win one, we win one. Hopefully, it will continue like that this weekend and we'll take the series 2-1."
While the England batting was outstanding, the win was largely set up in the opening overs of the match by the new-ball pair of James Anderson and Steven Finn. They stifled New Zealand's scoring and claimed the early wickets of openers B J Watling for 7 and Hamish Rutherford, on debut, for 11.
Napier: Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Jonathan Trott brought up confident half centuries as England beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the second limited-overs international on Wednesday to level the three-match series at 1-1.