A limping Ross Taylor produced one of the best performances by a batsman in a run-chase, scoring a career-best 181 to guide New Zealand to victory in the fourth ODI.
Chasing down a massive 335 to stay alive in the five-match ODI series, New Zealand’s openers were dismissed without disturbing the scoreboard. Mark Wood trapped Colin Munro for a golden duck in the innings’ second over; Martin Guptill was dismissed eight balls later trying to hit his way off the mark.
The onus fell on skipper Kane Williamson and senior Ross Taylor, as the duo played conservatively to recover from the early setbacks. After adding 84 runs for the third wicket, the captain suffered a soft dismissal, gloving a pull shot down the leg-side to Jos Buttler. Tom Latham played the perfect deputy to Taylor’s charge as he rotated the strike and took calculated risks. 187 runs came from that partnership off 25.5 overs, putting the home side in prime position in the run-chase.
Taylor brought up his century in 98 balls but soon after suffered an injury. The team physio was called multiple times as the 33-year-old struggled to run throughout the rest of the innings. Taylor however switched gears and went after the bowling to compensate for the lack of running. He was joined by Colin de Grandhomme, who smashed a pair of fours and sixes to drastically bring down the run rate. Eventually, New Zealand got home with three balls to spare when Henry Nicholls hit Tom Curran over the leg-side for a six to seal the victory.
Ross Taylor finished on 181 off 147 deliveries, including 17 fours and six sixes. It was the third highest score by a New Zealand batsman in ODIs and the fourth highest score ever in a run-chase, just four runs behind the highest – 185 by Shane Watson. Apart from the quad injury, in the following overs Taylor suffered a sore hip, a pulled groin and a cramped right hand!
A remarkable showcase of defiance coupled by his trademark aggressive batting made it one of the greatest knocks played in the limited overs game. You can check out Ross Taylor’s incredible knock here!
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