|England 311-9 (50 overs): Malan 127 (114); Ravindra 4-60|
|New Zealand 211 (38.2 overs): Ravindra 61 (48); Moeen 4-50|
|England won by 100 runs, win series 3-1|
Dawid Malan’s sublime century inspired England to a series-clinching hammering of New Zealand in the fourth and final one-day international at Lord’s.
Malan, in prolific form ahead of the World Cup starting in India next month, stroked 127 from 114 balls.
That led England to 311-9, a total the bedraggled Black Caps never threatened.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali claimed 4-50 as New Zealand were bowled out for 211 to give England victory by 100 runs.
England take the series 3-1 in what is their last meaningful action before their defence of the World Cup.
Next week, an almost entirely different England squad meet Ireland in a three-match one-day series, beginning at Headingley on Wednesday.
England triumph in low-ley World Cup build-up
Despite a showpiece event now being so close, the intensity of this game was far below the last time these two sides met in a one-dayer on this ground – the heart-stopping 2019 World Cup final – or what it will likely be when they next face each other in the tournament opener in Ahmedabad on 5 October.
Indeed, Friday could be more significant for what did not happen, rather than what did. England opener Jason Roy was still not fit to play because of back spasms and could now feature against Ireland in order to prove his fitness.
In Roy’s absence, Harry Brook did not push his case to be included when the final World Cup squad is announced next week, scoring only 10.
New Zealand also suffered a huge blow when pace bowler Tim Southee suffered a broken and dislocated thumb dropping a catch off Joe Root at gully and could now be a doubt for the World Cup.
Four years ago, England’s preparation was laser-focussed and they delivered the trophy. This time they have played fewer than half the amount of ODIs between World Cups – 88 to 43 – while these four matches are the first the full-strength squad has played together in more than a year.
Still, they have the experience of being the reigning world champions in both limited-overs formats and their batting in particular is the envy of the world. They will be one of the teams to beat in India.
Marvellous Malan proves his point
When England’s initial squad was announced, Malan was talked about as a potential candidate to make way for Brook.
But Roy’s absence has allowed the left-hander to seize his opportunity. He had previous scores of 54 and 96 in the series, missing the second game for the birth of his second child.
On a pitch that made batting far from straightforward, Malan used his experience of 13 years spent with Middlesex to time the ball exquisitely. Jos Buttler’s 36 was England’s next highest score, while Root’s 29 from 40 balls was torturous.
A feature of Malan’s innings was his scoring through the off side, cover drives and punches through point. When he swiped Kyle Jamieson for a flat six over square leg he reached the 81 runs needed to go to 1,000 in ODIs in just his 21st innings. Only three men have reached the milestone in fewer.
On 95 he edged Matt Henry past diving wicketkeeper Tom Latham and completed his fifth ODI century from 96 balls in the same over.
After Malan eventually nicked a wide one off the spin of Rachin Ravindra, it was the start of England wobbling slightly to lose four wickets for 39 runs, but late cameos from Sam Curran, David Willey and Brydon Carse took them to a total that was more than enough.
Wounded New Zealand beaten again
This has been a difficult series for New Zealand, who won the first game but have since been well beaten on three occasions when attempting to chase a target.
Captain Kane Williamson should return from a long lay-off at the World Cup, but the Black Caps were already without injured all-rounder Mitchell Santner before they lost Southee. When seamer Ben Lister, who is not in the World Cup squad, went off with a hamstring problem, the Black Caps attack was left badly depleted.
With Southee managing just four overs and Lister six, New Zealand did well to restrict England. Ravindra picked up 4-60 and Daryl Mitchell 2-40 with his fill-in medium-pace.
An attempt at what would have been the second-highest successful run-chase at Lord’s never got going. Buttler ran out Devon Conway with a direct hit, Willey was probing with the new ball to have Will Young caught behind and the pacey Carse pushed his case to be an official reserve for the World Cup by bowling Mitchell.
Moeen then got to work. Captain Latham was bowled and Henry Nicholls, who made 41, was given out lbw on review as he advanced down the pitch.
Jamieson was caught and bowled and Henry edged to slip in successive deliveries, leaving Lister to hobble out to survive the hat-trick ball. Ravindra at least swiped 61 before he was the last man to fall, bowled by Curran.