Dunedin, March 8
Injury-hit Ross Taylor played through the pain to score a remarkable unbeaten 181 and seal a series-levelling win for New Zealand in the fourth ODI against England today.
Taylor limped through much of his innings in Dunedin after aggravating a thigh injury, but batted on to compile a career-best innings and make it 2-2 in the series with one to play. New Zealand ended on 339/5 in reply to England’s 335/9, winning by five wickets and taking the five-match series to a crunch decider in Christchurch on Saturday.
Taylor scored 17 fours and six sixes as New Zealand reached the target with three balls to spare, wincing with pain after every shot in the latter half of his innings.
“It’s still sinking in,” he said after tearfully leaving the field to a standing ovation, revealing team medics gave him the option of retiring hurt due to the pain. “I was glad I made the decision to stay out there and swing.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson rated Taylor’s innings as “one of the great One-day knocks” and said he hoped the batsman would be fit for the decider. “Ross’s knock was just sensational, he’s kind of been batting like that all year,” he said. “Hopefully his injuries are minor and we can see him in the next game.”
Taylor’s heroics in scoring his 19th ODI century overshadowed a fine batting performance from England, marred by a late collapse that cost them dearly. Jonny Bairstow blazed his way to 138 off 106 balls and Joe Root grafted out a hard-fought 102 before England self-destructed late in their innings. — AFP
Brief scores: England: 335/9 (Bairstow 138, Root 102; Sodhi 4/58); New Zealand: 339/5 (Taylor 181*, Latham 71)