England heads into defense of Cricket World Cup on back of dominant ODI series win over New Zealand

LONDON (AP) — England didn't leave it late this time at Lord's.

In the teams' first ODI meeting at the home of cricket since that epic 2019 World Cup final, England beat New Zealand by 100 runs in the fourth match of the series to complete a 3-1 win on Friday.

With Ben Stokes rested, Dawid Malan took up the mantle of England's power hitter by smashing 127 off 114 balls in the team's total of 311-9.

New Zealand was dismissed for 211 after 38.2 overs and lost the last three matches of the series, having opened it with an eight-wicket victory in Cardiff last week.

The teams will next meet in the 50-over format in Ahmedabad on Oct. 5 in the opening game of the World Cup, when the English will be defending the title they clinched in that dramatic Super Over four years ago. They'll head to India in good heart and with some welcome selection posers.

Malan is sure to be in the team. He backed up his knock of 96 in Wednesday's third ODI — when he was upstaged by Stokes making 182 for the highest individual ODI score by an England player — by hitting 14 fours and three sixes to post his fifth century in the 50-over format.

He went past 1,000 ODI runs in his 21st appearance, claiming a share of Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott’s joint record. With an average of 61.52 and a strike-rate of 96, he has a formidable track record.

England, which won the toss, slowed in the second half of the innings as wickets fell at regular intervals, but still went beyond 300 for the second straight match.

Jos Buttler contributed 36 off 31 balls, while Joe Root (29) and Liam Livingstone (28) got starts but couldn't take advantage of them.

Stokes wasn't playing at Lord's to manage his fitness after featuring in the first three matches of the series.

Spinner Rachin Ravindra had the best bowling figures of 4-60 off his 10 overs.

In the chase, Buttler — England's wicketkeeper — took care of the dangerous Devon Conway (7) in the sixth over, flinging off his right glove and running the opener out with an opportunistic effort behind the stumps, then held on to Will Young (24) off David Willey's delivery.

Having failed to bring the required power to the powerplay, and with news of Tim Southee’s fractured thumb emerging, an air of resignation appeared to take hold among the New Zealanders.

Twice in a row, a Buttler bowling change paid off in the first over, with Brydon Carse firing one into Daryl Mitchell’s off stump with a nipping delivery and Moeen Ali darting an off-break down the slope and right through Tom Latham (13).

At 88-4, it looked like game over. Ravindra completed a productive evening in north London by smashing 61 from No. 7, but by then Ali had already done enough.

He had Henry Nicholls lbw thanks to Buttler’s insistence on calling for DRS, then picked off Kyle Jamieson and Matt Henry with successive deliveries. Ben Lister defied a hamstring strain to block the hat trick before Sam Curran ended Ravindra’s spree with a yorker.

England opener Jason Roy didn't play — meaning he was absent for the entire series — after failing to get over a back injury. That's a concern ahead of the World Cup as he looks to hold off Harry Brook for a place in the squad.

Brook was unable to make a go of his chance at No. 4, though, allowing Roy some respite. He was dismissed for 10 when he hit Ravindra's drag-down straight to mid-on.

With 37 from his three outings this series, Brook has failed to amplify his case.

Southee looks to be a doubt for the World Cup after breaking a bone in his right thumb while attempting to take a catch in the 14th over of England’s innings.

“A timeline for his recovery will be established tomorrow when he undergoes further assessment,” New Zealand said.


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