4th ODI: Taylor ton lands New Zealand series win
29 January, 2014
HAMILTON: New Zealand sealed their One-Day International (ODI) series against India with a game to spare on Tuesday when a Ross Taylor century set up a convincing seven-wicket victory in the fourth ODI.
It was New Zealand's third win in the five-match series, with one match tied and one remaining.
They chased down India's 278 for five, losing only three wickets with 11 balls to spare after Taylor paved the way with a masterful 112 not out.
He received support from Kane Williamson (60) as they rebuilt the innings and then from Brendon McCullum (49 not out), who finished the match with a colossal six.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat. But luck was not on their side.
In addition to losing the series, India also slipped from number one in the world one-day rankings to number two.New Zealand improved from a lowly eighth to seventh.
McCullum described Taylor's innings as the 'match-winning performance' on a wicket that tends to favour the side batting first.
"We knew someone was going to have to get a big 100 and we saw it from Ross [Taylor]," he said. "Obviously his partnership with Kane was the backbone of our innings."
Dhoni paid credit to the New Zealand bowlers whom he said set up the victory.
"They put pressure on the batsmen to play the big shots and at times it doesn't pay [to play them]," he said. "We lost wickets at the wrong time, which put pressure on the middle-order."
Faced with a target of 279, New Zealand opened at a rapid rate with Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill clocking up 54 in seven overs before falling in quick succession.
Williamson and Taylor then put on 130 for the third wicket, when the partnership was broken by a slick piece of fielding by Ravindra Jadeja.
Taylor ended with 15 fours in his 112 off 127 deliveries, while McCullum faced 36 balls and hit three sixes and four fours in his 49.
Meanwhile, India's innings was built around an unbeaten 127-run stand between Dhoni (79 not out) and Jadeja (62 not out). Rohit Sharma (79) and Ambati Rayudu (37) were the only other India batsmen to reach double figures.
For New Zealand, Tim Southee was the most economical bowler with two wickets for 36.