New Zealand overcome Bairstow blitz to level England T20 series

Dashing innings - England's Jonny Bairstow on his way to 73 in the fourth T20 against <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:New Zealand;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">New Zealand</a> at Trent Bridge (Paul ELLIS)
Dashing innings - England's Jonny Bairstow on his way to 73 in the fourth T20 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge (Paul ELLIS)

Mitchell Santner starred with the ball before Tim Seifert led the way with the bat as New Zealand beat England by six wickets at Trent Bridge on Tuesday to end a four-match Twenty20 series all square at 2-2.

When Jonny Bairstow was making a quickfire 73, to give the Black Caps a reminder of his stunning Test century against them in Nottingham last year, T20 world champions England were on course for a huge total.

But, with England white-ball captain Jos Buttler officially rested from the game, New Zealand took four wickets for 35 runs -- with left-arm spinner Santner returning fine figures of 3-30.

New Zealand controlled their chase, with Seifert making 48 and the in-form Glenn Phillips 42 before Mark Chapman's unbeaten 40 completed a comfortable win with 16 balls left.

England will now face New Zealand -- the team they beat in the 2019 50-over World Cup final -- in a four-match one-day international series starting in Cardiff on Friday as they continue their preparations ahead of a title defence in India starting next month.

The first two matches of the T20 series witnessed two dominant England wins, by seven wickets and 95 runs, before New Zealand hit back with an equally emphatic 74-run success at Edgbaston on Sunday.

- 'Aggressive options' -

"We were far from our best in the first two games and the last two have been closer to what this side is about," New Zealand captain Tim Southee said at the presentation ceremony.

"They (England) got off to a great start tonight but we knew that if we kept taking wickets it was the best way to slow them down. We were trying to be smart and make them take aggressive options."

Stand-in England captain Moeen Ali said: "They (New Zealand) bowled really well but we just lost some momentum after the powerplay so that was disappointing."

He added: "They had a brilliant start with the bat too and then we couldn't wrestle it back."

England were 105-1 off 11 overs after Moeen won the toss.

But Santner led New Zealand's fightback in the field with a haul that included the prize scalp of Bairstow in an innings where the next highest score was the 26 made by both Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone.

Bairstow dominated the powerplay with three legside sixes, pacemen Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson the bowlers to suffer.

But his assault ended when he failed to clear long-on after lofting Santner down the ground.

Ish Sodhi, another of New Zealand's spinners, induced ring star Harry Brook -- left out of England's provisional World Cup squad -- to hole out for four before Santner removed both Malan and Moeen in the 16th over.

Bairstow suffered a shoulder injury while batting with the result that regular white-ball keeper Buttler was drafted in as emergency cover behind the stumps.

Seifert hammered Brydon Carse and Luke Wood for sixes before leaping teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed had him caught and bowled in a return of 2-27 on his return to the team.

But Chapman made sure of New Zealand's victory.