Cricket: Cook joy at ODI series victory

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Alastair Cook had his pace attack to thank most for helping England to their first one-day international series win in New Zealand for more than 20 years.

Not since 1991/92 have England got the better of the Kiwis here in a 50-over series.

England did it the hard way too, going 1-0 down in the first match of three in Hamilton but recovering to post comfortable wins in Napier and then at Eden Park.

Both times, it was the new-ball bowling of Steven Finn and James Anderson which put them in control.

This time, Finn took the honours with figures of three for 27. He and Anderson reduced the Kiwis to 11 for three - and despite a fine hand from their captain Brendon McCullum (79), the hosts could never recover sufficiently to post a testing target.

“It’s been quite a long time since we won a one-day series in New Zealand, so we will enjoy it,” said Cook, after his team had coasted past 185 all out with five wickets and more than 12 overs to spare.

“We’ve shown a lot of character. We were disappointed with ourselves in that first game. Then we had two must-win games, we held our nerve and raised our standard.”