London’s weather has rescued New Zealand in the second one-day international against England, helping them to a 13-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
In another high-scoring clash after England won the series opener at Birmingham by 210 runs, New Zealand responded with the bat at The Oval, posting 5-398.
Boosted by a 13th ODI century for Ross Taylor (119no) and solid contributions from Kane Williamson (93) and Martin Guptill (50), the tourists were well on track to square the five-match series at 1-1.
However, England launched a mighty chase, three days after going past 400 at Edgbaston.
They were on the required pace throughout, boosted by a sizzling 88 off 47 balls from captain Eoin Morgan and several rapid supporting knocks.
They required 54 off the last 43 balls when threatening rain finally arrived, leaving them stranded on 7-345.
Allrounders Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett were well set, having put on 70 for the eighth wicket off 46 deliveries.
The calculations for lost overs left the hosts requiring a far steeper 34 off 13 balls.
Plunkett (44) and Rashid (34) both fell in the second-last over bowled by spinner Nathan McCullum (3-86), with Rashid dismissed by a brilliant outfield catch when Tim Southee flicked the ball into Trent Boult before stepping over the boundary rope.
England reached 9-355 off 46 overs in a game which reaped 763 runs, an ODI record on English soil.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (39 off 22 balls) after winning the toss, admitted he was worried throughout England’s chase.
“I was terrified at times. England are playing a totally different brand of cricket to what they have played recently.
“Credit to us for holding our nerve at the end there. The weather helped us but it was a tremendous game of cricket.”
New Zealand’s score was their second-highest in all ODIs behind the 402 against Ireland in 2008.
It was the highest total England had conceded.
Taylor hit 10 fours and four sixes, followed by lively cameos from Grant Elliott (32 off 15) and Luke Ronchi (33 off 16).
Morgan smashed six fours and six sixes after England openers Jason Roy (39) and Alex Hales (54) laid a smart foundation.
Morgan described the game as epic and always felt his team were in contention until the rain arrived.
“The chase wasn’t a problem for us. It was a case of keeping that up into the late 30s, early 40s overs.
“When you chase a big score, the manner in which you play and the way you take the game to the opposition is important.
“I struck it well today and it’s close to my best again.”
The third game is in Southampton on Sunday.