Jonny Bairstow credits England bowlers after whirlwind century against New Zealand
Jonny Bairstow, who scored 104 off 60 balls, credited England’s bowlers for Saturday’s series-clinching seven-wicket win over New Zealand.cricket Updated: Mar 10, 2018 17:19 IST
Jonny Bairstow produced a man-of-the-match performance as his blistering hundred saw England claim their one-day international series with New Zealand but the centurion heaped praised on the team’s bowlers.
Bairstow scored back-to-back tons, his whirlwind century on Saturday inspiring England to a crushing seven-wicket victory in the fifth and final ODI against the Black Caps.
The opening batsman, who posted 138 in the fourth match, hit 104 off just 60 deliveries as the tourists chased down New Zealand’s 223 with 17 over remaining in Christchurch.
However, Bairstow credited England’s bowlers for the series-clinching victory. Chris Woakes (3-32) and Adil Rashid (3-42) wreaked havoc, helping to reduce the Kiwis to 93-6.
“They set the platform as they have done first up all the way though the series. The way the guys have taken wickets early on has enabled us to turn the screws in the middle,” Bairstow said.
“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.
“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.”
England captain 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.
“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 player of the series following his 10-wicket haul over the five matches and the paceman added: “Thought there were a few better knocks than my bowling, but 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.
“The important thing is, if you take wickets up front, you naturally stem that flow of runs. You look at their strengths and weaknesses and try to expose them. Think on your feet a little bit.”
First Published: Mar 10, 2018 17:19 IST