Ross Taylor stars day before birthday as New Zealand beat England by 5 wickets
New Zealand cricket team beat England cricket team, forcing a deciding ODI against the visitors, thanks to Ross Taylor’s heroics in the fourth match in Dunedin.Updated: Mar 07, 2018 13:05 IST
A hobbling Ross Taylor helped New Zealand keep their one-day international series against England alive with an incredible innings in Dunedin on Wednesday.
Taylor, who missed the third ODI due to a quad injury, hurt himself again late in his brilliant innings, but he managed to see the Black Caps to a five-wicket victory.
He also became the second batsman in ODI history, after Sourav Ganguly, to score a century a day before his birthday.
The star right-hander made a match-winning 181 not out off 147 balls – featuring 17 fours and six sixes – and was ably supported by Tom Latham (71) in a 187-run partnership for the fourth wicket in the fourth ODI at University Oval.
Taylor – who made his highest score in the 50-over format and his 19th ODI century – struggled to run late in his innings as New Zealand reached 339-5 with three balls to spare, going past England’s 335-9 to level the five-match series at 2-2.
England were left to lament a huge collapse as they were beaten despite centuries from Jonny Bairstow (138) and Joe Root (102).
However, they lost 21-6 during their innings as Ish Sodhi (4-58) did most of the damage for New Zealand.
Incredibly, the Black Caps lost openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill to ducks to bring Taylor to the crease at 2-2.
Ben Stokes (1-45) removed Kane Williamson (45) before Taylor and Latham took over.
Victory still appeared improbable for New Zealand as they were left needing more than nine runs per over off the final 12.
But Taylor, by this stage clearly battling, got aggressive, including smashing Mark Wood (1-65) for three fours in the 40th over.
While Latham and Colin de Grandhomme (23 off 12) fell, Taylor saw his team to a huge win.
Earlier, the Black Caps’ sloppy fielding proved costly as Bairstow and Jason Roy (42) helped England make a flying start after they were put in to bat.
The tourists were cruising as Bairstow – who finished his innings with 14 fours and seven sixes – in particular helped his team into a commanding position.
He combined with Root for a 190-run stand for the second wicket as England looked well on track to push towards a total of 400.
When Bairstow fell in the 38th over, England were 267-2, but their middle-order collapsed.
Jos Buttler (0), Eoin Morgan (5), Stokes (1) and Moeen Ali (3) all failed, England needing late hitting from Tom Curran (22) to just reach 335-9, but not even that was enough to stop Taylor’s heroics.