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Taylor steers NZ to ODI series win

Ross Taylor’s ninth one-day international century proved the difference as New Zealand sealed the five-match series against India with a seven-wicket win in Hamilton.


THE Black Caps chased down India’s 5-278 in game four, led by Taylor’s unbeaten 112 off 127 balls and Kane Williamson’s 60.

The pair, who have been in sublime form, put on 130 in a well-paced third-wicket stand, seeing off the threat of India’s spinners and taking advantage of some loose seam bowling.

The hosts reached 3-280 with 11 balls to spare, taking a 3-0 series lead heading into a dead rubber at Wellington on Friday.

They won the first matches at Napier and Hamilton before a tie in Auckland on Saturday.

New Zealand openers Jesse Ryder (19) and Martin Guptill (35) departed in the space of five balls.

A composed Williamson scored his fourth half-century from four innings, giving him 292 runs for the series, while captain Brendon McCullum (49 not out off 36) came off successive ducks in aggressive fashion to steer his side home.

McCullum said outplaying the world champions was hugely satisfying and described this win as their best of the series.

“It was another superb performance and in tough conditions which I think suited India more so than us.

“It doesn’t matter whether we’re batting first or second. What we’re seeing is two players (Williamson and Taylor) in outstanding form. When they put together those partnerships, it puts us in a very strong position.”

Taylor was especially punishing outside off stump, scoring 14 of 15 boundaries on the off-side, mostly off the seamers.

That is a far cry from the batsman who for several seasons has been spectacular with leg-side blasts but often paid for that approach with his wicket.

“Over the last few years, I’ve been more renowned for my bottom hand.

“I’m just trying to get the top hand working a bit more and it seems to be working.”

Ravindra Jadeja, who ran out Williamson superbly, was also India’s liveliest batsman, scoring 62 off 54 balls.

That complemented scores of 79 to opener Rohit Sharma and captain MS Dhoni after the visitors had made a ponderous start.

Dhoni surprised when he chose to bat, having put New Zealand in the three previous games.

The in-form skipper combined with Jadeja for an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 127 – the pair whacking 100 off the last 10 overs.

Dhoni criticised his pace bowlers, whose 28 overs conceded 205 runs.

“One thing you don’t want to do is bowl short and wide and we consistently did that.”

He said his team’s batting was also struggling from the start, placing too much pressure on the middle and lower order.