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One Day International Series
County Ground, Bristol
The NatWest Series
New Zealand 182 (G D Elliott 56) v England 160 (T G Southee 4-38)
New Zealand beat England by 22 runs
New Zealand climbed off the canvas to knock out England and level the NatWest Series with a thrilling 22-run victory in the third match at Bristol.
The Black Caps looked to be out for the count at 49-5 but a maiden international half-century from Grant Elliott and some defiant late hitting from Kyle Mills helped them reach 182.
Such a total should have been well within England's reach but they suffered a dramatic top-order collapse of their own, at one stage losing four wickets for just two runs.
Seamer Tim Southee did the majority of the damage to finish with 4-38 and despite a battling 34 from injured skipper Paul Collingwood, the hosts were bowled out for 160 with 22 balls remaining.
While the tourists can celebrate a morale-boosting victory after being denied by a combination of the weather and the umpires at Edgbaston on Wednesday, England will be left to rue letting their opponents off the hook.
Opting to bowl first, the seam trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett dominated the Kiwis after Brendon McCullum had departed for a quick-fire 17.
The explosive opener smacked two fours and a six off Anderson only to then perish looking for a fourth boundary in the over, a lofted drive just not having enough elevation to clear Kevin Pietersen at mid-off.
From the moment their star man departed the Kiwis fell apart - the runs dried up at an alarming rate before wickets tumbled under the pressure of trying to break the shackles.
Jamie How and Ross Taylor both paid a heavy price for trying to hit straight balls onto the leg side off the impressive Broad, who bowled his 10 overs off the reel to finish with immaculate figures of 2-14.
Tremlett chipped in with the wicket of Scott Styris while Anderson even managed to get Daniel Flynn out with a full toss, meaning New Zealand, who had lost 4-12, were in danger of not batting out their overs.
However, from a position of strength England let their opponents off the hook, allowing Elliott - called up from English club cricket to replace the injured Jacob Oram - to nudge his way to a vital 56, though in the final outcome it was Mills' fireworks that made the difference.
The tailender took 14 off the final over of the innings bowled by Luke Wright before perishing to the last ball of the innings for an ODI best score of 47.
Boosted by his batting efforts Mills made early inroads in England's reply, dismissing Wright in his opening over before then getting the prize scalp of Pietersen.
Elliott took the catch to remove England's dangerman for only four before then coming on and claiming a wicket himself, although he owed a great deal of thanks to Ian Bell for hitting what would have been a wide straight to cover.
From then on teenager Southee stole the show, tempting Ravi Bopara into a loose cut stroke that was well taken at backward point by a diving How and then removing Owais Shah and Tim Ambrose in one dramatic over.
At 64-6 England were now on their knees, though with Graeme Swann at his side captain Collingwood defied the pain of a sore back to hold the innings together, the pair putting on a seventh-wicket stand of 65 in 17 overs.
But, with the finishing line getting closer, Swann clipped Scott Styris to mid-wicket to depart for 29 and once Southee returned to remove the obdurate Collingwood lbw the Kiwis sensed their chance, closing out the match to leave the series wonderfully poised heading to The Oval for game four on Wednesday.