Liam Livingstone plundered an unbeaten 95 off 78 balls to push England to a respectable 226-7 in a rain-affected second match of its one-day international series against New Zealand on Sunday after Trent Boult, in his 100th ODI, obliterated the top order with three wickets in eight deliveries in his 100th ODI.
The match was reduced to 34 overs per team because of morning rain that delayed the start by three hours and, after the New Zealanders won the toss, Boult (3-37 in seven overs) put England in a hole early by removing Jonny Bairstow (6), Joe Root (0) and Ben Stokes (1).
That left England on 8-3 after 4.2 overs and it got even worse when Harry Brook top-edged Matt Henry (2) for a soft dismissal, making it 28-4.
Jos Buttler hit a quickfire 30 off 25 balls but dragged spinner Mitchell Santner onto his stumps, bringing Livingstone to the crease at 55-5.
From 55-5 to 226-7Livingstone Curran
Catch up on our innings here
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 10, 2023
The big-hitting Livingstone, pushed down the order to No. 7, steadied the innings by sharing partnerships of 48 with Moeen Ali (33) and 112 with Sam Curran (42) and made his second straight fifty of the series, after a 52 off 40 in the first ODI won by New Zealand in dominant fashion on Friday.
It was Livingstone’s third ODI half-century in 12 matches, with a pulled six off Henry getting England past 200 — a milestone that looked beyond the hosts a couple of hours earlier.
Livingstone completed his second fifty of the series before Curran added fresh impetus with sixes off spinners Rachin Ravindra and Santner. He then pulled Henry for his first six in 73 balls but wasn’t on strike at the start of the last over as he fell just shy of three figures.
But there was much to admire in Livingstone’s game awareness during a 78-ball innings featuring nine fours and a six as he pressed his case for inclusion in reigning 50-over champions England’s squad for the upcoming World Cup in India.
England opener Jason Roy (back) missed out again, while spinner Adil Rashid was left out as a precaution with a mild calf strain sustained in Friday’s match.
Boult, Santner and opener Finn Allen — a Twenty20 specialist — came into New Zealand’s team.
New Zealand are 1-0 up in a four-match series after thrashing England by eight wickets in Friday’s match opener at Cardiff.
(With inputs from Agencies)