Steven Finn was the driving force as the tourists bowled their hosts out for 185, and Saturday’s decider turned into a mis-match.
Even Brendon McCullum’s third successive half-century was unable to rescue a defendable total for New Zealand, albeit on a pitch which had offered plenty early on to well directed seam bowling after Alastair Cook had won the toss.
England’s two premier exponents, Finn and James Anderson, soon reduced the hosts to a hapless 11 for three. McCullum (79) refused to let England have it all their own way with six fours and five sixes but, without significant support, could not turn the tide on his own.
It seemed a foregone conclusion that England would make light work of their target. In the event they were not flattered by a five-wicket margin, and it was more instructive that they also had 12.3 overs to spare.
Finn’s first of three wickets for 27 was his 50th in ODI cricket, and for good measure Graeme Swann was later to take his 100th — only the eighth Englishman to do so in this format.