The average score batting first at Seddon Park this decade is 283, but much could depend on whether the dew comes down - previous year New Zealand chased 280 with time to spare against South Africa and earlier this season charged over the line against Pakistan by five wickets needing 263. Taylor posted his century from 108 balls with only 10 fours and didn't appear likely to blast New Zealand to victory, especially if the England bowlers could contain as well as they had done for much of the innings. But needing nine off the last over bowled by Chris Woakes, the hosts triumphed as allrounder Mitchell Santner delivered under pressure.
Allrounder Ben Stokes' return to the England cricket team Sunday after a five month absence was overshadowed by a century from Ross Taylor that guided New Zealand to a three-wicket win with four balls to spare in the first one-day global. "Australia was a tough series and New Zealand are going to be no different".
Latham however timed the ball sweetly from the outset but had two lives in reaching 79 off 84 balls. England also didn't help their cause with Jonny Bairstow fluffing a chance to give Latham a reprieve off Curran's bowling.
Kane Williamson only managed eight off 23 balls and Martin Guptill went for 13.
Henry Nicholls (0) and Colin de Grandhomme didn't last long as England fought back admirably.
Eoin Morgan exercised caution in declining to confirm the match-winning all-rounder's participation against the Kiwis this weekend, only because Stokes was still bowling in the nets when the England captain spoke to the press.
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Until the second T20I against Pakistan at Eden Park, New Zealand's summer had gone without a blemish but since then they have won once in seven outings.
Catching was again an issue the halted NZ's progress however.
England hit back from their Ashes disappointment, in Stokes' absence, by beating Australia 4-1 in ODIs - so there is good reason for both teams to be highly respectful of the opposition. England's openers couldn't make a free-flowing start against some skilful bowling from Southee and Boult. So it'd be churlish to suggest he needed to turn Sunday's knock into a ton, but that would have ensured his side went past 300 - instead, there was unbridled joy from part-time seamer Colin Munro when he nipped one back to hit Root's off stump.
England remained in control, with Root looking threatening and Buttler particularly punishing on Sodhi in belting three consecutive sixes in the 32nd over.
But Stokes made a more significant contribution in the field, claiming a catch, taking 2-43 from eight overs and most notably breaking the 178-run partnership between Taylor, who made 113, and Tom Latham (79) that bridged the gap between the teams.