Livingstone, Topley fire as England beat New Zealand to level series

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Liam Livingstone and Reece Topley produced key performances ahead of the World Cup as England fought back from a dreadful start to win a rain-reduced second one-day international against New Zealand in Southampton by 79 runs.

England were 8-3 and 55-5 in a game trimmed to 34-overs-a-side, only for Livingstone to resuscitate the innings with an unbeaten 95 from 78 balls, two days after he had fired a fifty during his team’s eight-wicket drubbing in Cardiff.

Livingstone, whose knock was the third-highest by an England No 7 in ODIs, put on 112 from 77 balls with Sam Curran (42) for the seventh wicket after adding 48 with Moeen Ali (33) for the sixth to lift the hosts to 226-7 at The Ageas Bowl.

Score summary

England 226-7 from 34 overs: Liam Livingstone (95no off 78), Sam Curran (42 off 35); Trent Boult (3-37)

New Zealand 147 all out in 26.5 overs: Daryl Mitchell (57 off 52); Reece Topley (3-27), David Willey (3-34), Moeen Ali (2-30)

A score that big had seemed a distant dream when Trent Boult (3-37), playing his 100th ODI, shredded Jonny Bairstow for six and then Joe Root and Ben Stokes for ducks; Harry Brook failed to press his World Cup claims by slicing Matt Henry to mid-on for two; and Jos Buttler chopped Mitchell Santner onto his stumps for 30.

New Zealand were bundled out for 147 in 26.5 overs in reply, losing their last seven wickets for 36 runs, as Topley bagged 3-27 and England levelled the four-match series.

Liam Livingstone (PA Images)

Image: Liam Livingstone scored an unbeaten 95 from 78 balls as England beat New Zealand in Southampton

The Black Caps were going well in the chase at 111-3 in the 21st over but left-arm seamer Topley snapped a run of four ODIs without a wicket by taking three in two overs – the highlight a cracking caught and bowled to remove Glenn Phillips (2), two balls after he had Rachin Ravindra (4) caught at slip.

Daryl Mitchell (57) threatened to take New Zealand to victory for the second game running – he struck an unbeaten ton at Sophia Gardens on Friday night – only to perish attacking a Moeen full toss and hand the off-spinner his 100th ODI wicket

When Santner (4) was out to Moeen two deliveries later, the Kiwis’ hopes were over and David Willey – who bowled Finn Allen (0) middle stump with the second ball of the chase – ended the game by having Boult (1) caught at mid-on, finishing with figures of 3-34 plus the run out of Will Young (33) following a direct hit from mid-off.

Gus Atkinson’s first ODI wicket – Cardiff centurion Devon Conway caught behind for 14 – was another plus for England, who will now look to take a 2-1 lead in the series by winning Wednesday’s third ODI at The Kia Oval before the final game takes place at Lord’s on Friday.

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Reece Topley took three wickets as England edged closer to victory over New Zealand in the second ODI.

Brook stumbles as Livingstone sparkles

Brook, opening for the second game in a row with Jason Roy (back spasm) rested and Dawid Malan having left the group to be with his new-born son, scratched around for two from 12 balls, with his exit leaving England 28-4.

Livingstone, though, impressed in the middle order, striking nine fours – three of them in one Tim Southee over – and a sole six, but also showed composure as he dragged England out of the mire.

With his ability to bowl spin, added to the fact he is a livewire in the field, Livingstone appears a lock to be in England’s squad in India.

It was the 30-year-old’s batting that proved vital on Sunday after the hosts’ top five had been razed in bowler-friendly conditions.

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Trent Boult is on fire for New Zealand, picking up three wickets as England are reduced to 8-3!

Bairstow, back in the side following a shoulder niggle, was caught one-handed by Santner in the covers, before Root was pinned lbw two balls later during Boult’s double wicket-maiden.

When Boult inflicted a blob on Stokes – the England Test captain caught at mid-off after charging down the wicket – the New Zealand seamer’s figures read 3-1 from 2.2 overs in his first ODI in a year.

Buttler dented Boult’s numbers with three fours off the left-arm seamer in his fourth over but then fell to left-arm spinner Santner, forced to watch on as Livingstone, Moeen and Curran took England up to what proved a winning total.

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Former England captain Eoin Morgan says Jos Buttler’s side will take a huge amount of confidence from their impressive performance at The Ageas Bowl.

Livingstone: I just needed one innings

Player of the Match, Liam Livingstone:

“I wouldn’t quite say it was a rescue mission. It’s something we pride ourselves on; we’ve got a lot of depth in our batting and we build our teams for situations like today.

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Liam Livingstone says his hard work is paying off after his unbeaten 95 helped England beat New Zealand in the second ODI.

“It has been a frustrating year for me. I’ve probably overthought things at times.

“It’s quite a hard role when you have a bit of time off and then come in down the order and are trying to smack it from ball one.

“My adaptability is something I pride myself on. I’ve had a lean couple of months but I was looking forward to this series to get a bit of time in the middle – and thankfully today went well for me.

“I just needed one innings. My hard work over the last couple of months has paid off.”

Buttler: Batting depth was vital

England captain Jos Buttler:

“Delighted [with the win]. From the position we found ourselves in, to be able to post a score like we did is credit to the way we want to play.

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England captain Jos Buttler says he’s encouraging his players to play positive cricket as his side fought back to level the ODI series with New Zealand.

“Livingstone came out with that intent; he and Curran, especially, that was a fantastic partnership.

“Defining roles will come [ahead of World Cup]. But everyone is pretty clear on the options they have in the team and today we were blessed with good batting depth, which was vital.

“That’s a huge positive for us. We’re delighted to win the game and level the series.”

What’s next?

Wednesday 13th September 12:00pm

Sky Sports Cricket HD Sky Sports Cricket HD

The final two ODIs take place in London this week, at The Kia Oval on Wednesday (12.30pm start) and then Lord’s on Friday (12.30pm start). Coverage of both matches begins at 12pm on Sky Sports Cricket.

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