England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow produced a man-winnings performance with his blistering century. He helped his team to claim their One-Day International series with New Zealand but the centurion heaped praise on the team’s bowlers.
Bairstow scored back-to-back centuries, his quickfire century on Saturday inspired England to a crushing seven-wicket win in the fifth and final ODI against the Black Caps. The opener, who posted 138 in the fourth match, hit 104 off just 60 deliveries as the visitors chased down New Zealand’s 223 with 17 over remaining in Christchurch.
However, Bairstow credited England’s bowlers for the series-winning win. Chris Woakes (3-32) and Adil Rashid (3-42) wreaked havoc in the Kiwi dug-out, helping to reduce the Kiwis to 93-6.
Praising the bowler, Bairstow said, “They set the platform as they have done first up all the way through the series. The way the guys have taken wickets early on has enabled us to turn the screws in the middle. It’s just a case of giving yourself some extra time at the top. When you’re actually out there and doing it, it can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re one or two off 10 balls, but nowadays you can try catch that up later on.”
He further added, “Opening the batting is a little different to batting in the middle order. My job is to go out and score big hundreds and score match-winning scores … it’s work in progress.”
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England skipper Eoin Morgan, who won the toss and opted to bowl first, said: “I thought our bowlers set the tone after winning the toss, took advantage of the bounce, good line and length, the execution was outstanding, and we created opportunities by building pressure.”
Speaking of the bowlers, the skipper said, “Woakes has been outstanding, he contributes a huge amount for us down the order, and leads the line with the ball. The aggressive nature that we play, we want to impart that on a game at any stage. But ultimately today the game was won by our bowling unit. We’ve had a good competitive series here, and we’ve loved every minute of the tour.”
Woakes was named the player of the series following his 10-wicket haul over the five matches and the fast bowler added: “Though there were a few better knocks than my bowling, happy to take it, nice to come out on top in a tight series. Nice to pick up some wickets up top, a couple of pitches have offered a little bit, a bit of extra bounce this morning.”