New Zealand vs India 4th ODI: Taylor crushes India to hand New Zealand series win

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Taylor scored his ninth ODI century

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor smashed a spectacular unbeaten century to lead the Black Caps to a convincing seven-wicket win over India in the fourth ODI in Hamilton and give them an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

Taylor was well supported by fellow batsman Kane Williamson, who scored a half-century, and captain Brendon McCullum, who hammered a quickfire 49.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been pondering over whether he made the right decision to bat first, especially when Virat Kohli was caught by James Neesham at midwicket off the bowling of Tim Southee for just two runs.

Ajinkya Rahane failed to have an impact with the bat either as he was caught by Southee at long leg off the bowling of Kyle Mills for only three runs.

Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma stabilised the innings with a 79-run partnership, during which Sharma brought up his half-century, before Rayudu was caught behind off the bowling of Hamish Bennett for 37.

Sharma ended up making 79 off 94 balls, which included six boundaries and four sixes, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Williamson.

Ravinchandran Ashwin only managed to score five runs before he was caught by Bennett at third man off the bowling of Southee.

Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja ensured India finished their innings on a high note as the pair amassed an outstanding 127-run partnership, during which both batsmen registered their half-centuries.

Thanks to Dhoni and Jadeja, India finished on 278 off their 50 overs.

Dhoni was unbeaten on 79 off 73 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes, while Jadeja remained undefeated on 62 off 54 deliveries, which included eight boundaries and two maximums.

Southee was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with two wickets, while Mills, Bennett and Williamson all chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 279 to win, New Zealand got off to a solid start as their opening pair of Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill put together a 54-run partnership before Ryder was clean bowled by Varun Aaron for 19.

Guptill failed to last much longer as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for 35.

Williamson and Taylor steadied the innings with an impressive 130-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Williamson was run out by Jadeja on 60 off 82 balls, which included two boundaries and two sixes.

From that point on, it was all New Zealand as Taylor and McCullum accumulated an unbeaten 92-run partnership, during which Taylor recorded his ninth ODI century, to lead the Black Caps home by seven wickets.

Taylor finished on 112 off 127 balls, which included 15 boundaries, while McCullum remained undefeated on 49 off 36 deliveries, which included four boundaries and three sixes.

Shami and Aaron picked up one wicket each.

Dhoni was extremely disappointed with his team’s performance, and said: “Struggled at the top, I think last game we got some kind of start going. We tried to hit that slightly back of a length and bowl in that channel which their bowlers did. We lost a few wickets early, but we did get some kind of partnership going late in the day but we were 20-30 runs short.

“[Our] Bowling was quite disappointing and we often complain about the five fielders outside the circle, [but] when you bowl short and wide it doesn’t matter. We’ll take it one game at a time, most of our batsmen have got starts but they were not able to push on. They’d need a bit of luck too.”

McCullum was ecstatic to have defeated one of the top ODI sides in the world, and said: “Tough conditions tonight. Conditions suited India more than us and we lost to toss and gave them a few too many runs in the end. We knew someone had to bat well and get a big hundred and Rosco did that.

“Mills is outstanding, it was good to give someone else an oppportunity on a horses for courses thing on a quicker wicket and Neesham has also learned a lot today as well.

“The blueprint of the batting shouldn’t change. Williamson and Taylor have done that very well to set things up and it was great Rosco got a match-winning hundred and we’re very happy.

“Yep, we are going to enjoy this one and you don’t blank the No.1 team too often and we will look to do that.”

Taylor was named Man of the Match for his breathtaking century.

“Just training,” Taylor said. “Bit of nets and throwdowns and it was nice to go out there and put that hard work to good use. I’ve been known as a bottom hand player and it was good to show this side of my game too. Kane’s been brilliant, to get four fifties on the trot.

“Yeah, hopefully the baby can hold up for a while and I can finish the one-day series before the birth.”

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