England vs New Zealand: Ahead of World Cup final, a look back on the incredible 2015 ODI series
Watch England take on New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 9am
Last Updated: 13/07/19 2:20pm
England meet New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup final on Sunday, four years on from meeting in arguably the greatest ODI series of all time.
Off the back of their disastrous group-stage exit from the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand a few months earlier, England's remarkable white-ball turnaround began in earnest against the Black Caps - the team they'd taken inspiration from the most in their new, bold, attacking approach.
The titanic June 2015 tussle between the teams featured the most runs ever scored in a five-match series - 3,151 in total - and England's first-ever ODI score of over 400, in the opening clash at Edgbaston. Here, we take a trip back down memory lane, ahead of the two nations' World Cup final showdown on Sunday...
Story of Match One (Tuesday 9 June, 2015)
England 408-9 beat New Zealand 198 by 210 runs, Edgbaston
When Jason Roy fell to the first ball of the series, it looked like a case of 'same old England' but 49.5 pulsating overs later, the entire complexion of England's one-day capabilities was transformed. Jos Buttler (129) and Joe Root (104) blasted the then second and fourth-fastest tons by Englishmen in ODI cricket - off 66 balls and 71 balls respectively - as the hosts clubbed their way to a score of 400 for the first time.
Buttler's stand of 177 with Adil Rashid (69) was the highest seventh-wicket partnership in ODI history. Steve Finn (4-35) and Rashid (4-55) then snared four wickets each to dismiss the Black Caps for 198 in 31.1 overs. Crisis? What crisis?
What they said... Sir Ian Botham: "This is probably the best I've seen any England one-day side bat. This was a 'new England' - they came out with nothing but positive thoughts with the bat and the ball so it could be a really exciting time in a format that England have really under-performed in."
Story of Match Two (Friday 12 June, 2015)
New Zealand 398-5 beat England 365-9 by 13 runs (D/L), The Oval
The Black Caps hit back in typically swashbuckling style to post 398-5, their highest ODI total ever against England thanks to an unbeaten 119 off 96 balls from Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson's 93.
The home side - having conceded their highest-ever ODI total - hit back to register the best-ever ODI score by an England side batting second as Eoin Morgan smashed 88 off 47 balls to propel his side to within sight of a famous victory before rain robbed the hosts of vital momentum.
What they said... David Lloyd: "There is no mindset of keeping wickets in hand, building and smashing it in the last 10 overs; instead teams are going for it and picking dynamic, energetic players from one to 11. The players are really into it and determined to express their talents. This is providing wonderful entertainment - though perhaps not for bowlers!"
Story of Match Three (Sunday 14 June, 2015)
England 302 lost to New Zealand 306-7 by three wickets, The Ageas Bowl
Would England take a backward step? No way! Root (54) and Morgan (71) looked fluent and composed as they added 105 in 19 overs for the third wicket before Ben Stokes (68 off 47) weighed in with a brutal half-century, but from 288-5 the home side collapsed to such an extent that they were bundled out for 302 with some 4.4 overs unused.
Not batting your full allocation used to be the No 1 crime in 50-over cricket but Morgan was having none of it even after brilliant centuries from Williamson (118) and Taylor (110) paved the way for New Zealand to take a 2-1 lead in the series. "We've taken overs out of the equation," he said - emphasising England’s new-found commitment to playing with freedom.
What they said... Nick Knight: "The decision to push Morgan up to No 4 in the order has also reaped dividends and I now feel England are getting the very best out of one of their very finest one-day players. Your captain has to make significant contributions to a team, for his players as well as his own well-being, but for too long Eoin had been reduced to a bit-part role at five or six."
Story of Match Four (Wednesday 17 June, 2015)
New Zealand 349-7 lost to England 350-3 by seven wickets, Trent Bridge
'Bit-part' player no more, Morgan demonstrated the positivity he advocates by striking his eighth ODI hundred - passing fifty for the fourth successive time - as England completed the joint fourth-highest chase of all time, eclipsing New Zealand’s 349-7 to set up a series decider up in Durham.
Morgan (113) added 198 for the third wicket with Root (106), who passed the milestone of 2,000 ODI runs during his own century. Those fireworks outshone another fine innings of 90 from the bang in-form Williamson. That said, New Zealand's total would have been well within reach but for an explosive late cameo from Mitchell Santner, in which he struck Adil Rashid for 28 off an over.
What they said... Sir Ian Botham: "The cricket was electrifying. I hope the Australians were watching! Morgan and Root look in magnificent form. Morgan’s hundred was terrific; it was incredible power-hitting from the captain. But Root isn't having a bad run either! He's got timing and confidence - he hits the ball from the moment he gets out there."
Story of Match Five (Saturday 20 June, 2015)
England 192-7 (25 overs) beat New Zealand 283-9 by three wickets (D/L), Emirates Riverside
And so it was decider time at Durham. Under leaden skies, England appeared to gain the upper hand by winning the toss and bowling first. The fireworks of previous games may have been lacking - the Black Caps innings featured just three sixes - but Martin Guptill's 67 at the top of the order and contributions again from Williamson (50) and Taylor (47) got the visitors up to a competitive total.
After an interminable break for rain, England looked down and out at 45-5 chasing a revised target of 192 from 26 overs. But Jonny Bairstow - in just his seventh ODI innings, called into the squad at late notice after Buttler split the webbing on his hand - belted an unbeaten 83 to steal the match with six balls left and earn England a famous victory.
What they said... Sir Ian Botham: "With Australia in the country now, the confidence they gain from this will do them the world of good for the Ashes. Australia will try to bully England but this side will stand out and show character. Australia will be tough but New Zealand have been magnificent. The series has provided magnificent entertainment."
Watch the Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand at Lord's, live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup from 9am on Sunday.