SOUTHAMPTON: Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scored hundreds in a record-breaking stand as New Zealand beat England by three wickets in the third one-day international at the Rose Bowl on Sunday to go 2-1 up in the five-match series.
New Zealand, chasing 303 for victory, were struggling at 36 for two. But a stand of 206 between Williamson and Taylor turned the tide, although England dropped both batsmen with Taylor given several reprieves.
Williamson made 118 and Taylor 110 — his second century in as many matches after his unbeaten 119 during New Zealand´s 13 run-win at The Oval on Friday levelled the series at 1-1.
That match also saw Williamson and Taylor share a partnership of 121. But their stand at the Rose Bowl was a New Zealand record for the third wicket in all ODI cricket, surpassing the 180 put on by Adam Parore and Ken Rutherford against India at Vaodara in 1994.
New Zealand lost a couple of late wickets and it needed a four by Tim Southee off Ben Stokes to see the World Cup finalists complete victory with an over to spare.
England were left regretting being bowled out for 302 with 28 balls of their innings left after skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss.
New Zealand´s reply got off to a shaky start when Martin Guptill — who made 189 not out in the corresponding fixture on this ground two years ago — was lbw for two to an inswinger from left-armer David Willey, called up following Chris Jordan´s series-ending side injury.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum also fell cheaply, the dangerman lbw for 11 to Durham quick Mark Wood, playing after Liam Plunkett was ruled out with a side strain.
Taylor gave a tough chance on 17 when wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, anticipating his sweep off leg-spinner Adil Rashid, just failed to hold what would have been a spectacular one-handed catch.
Williamson, meanwhile, reached fifty with an on-driven four off Rashid — the first of 18 runs he scored in an over.
The elegant Williamson then completed an 88-ball hundred, including 11 fours.
Williamson drove Willey for a seemingly effortless six but next ball he was out when Wood held a far tougher chance than the one he had missed.
Taylor, whose hundred came off 105 balls, was eventually out when he played on to Willey.
Earlier, Tim Southee and debutant Ben Wheeler took three wickets apiece as New Zealand held England to a below par total.
The series continues at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.