New Zealand v England ODIs
Taylor's epic knock sets up decider
Black Caps veteran scores an unbeaten 181 as NZ recover from 2-2 to chase down 336 against England
7 March 2018, 08:00 PM AEST
Ross Taylor has produced one of the great one-day innings to help New Zealand snatch victory from England by five wickets in their fourth ODI and level the five-match series at 2-2.
Taylor struck a career-high unbeaten 181 on Wednesday in Dunedin, building into his innings before shaking off a thigh issue to thump boundary after boundary.
He hit 17 fours and six sixes from just 147 deliveries, appearing near-untouchable as the Kiwis chased down England's 9-335 with three balls left.
It's the third highest ODI score by a New Zealander and the fourth highest by any player in a run chase, while his 19th century draws him level from Brian Lara and Mahela Jayawardena.
The 33-year-old came to the crease in the third over after openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro both fell for ducks.
At 2-2, the Kiwis were in dire straits, but Taylor and Kane Williamson with 45 steadied the ship with an 84-run stand.
Favouring the leg side and scoring more than 80 of his runs at square leg and mid-wicket, Taylor battered England's seam and spin bowling, reaching his century and continuing to plug away despite being in clear distress.
By the end of the knock, he could barely run between wickets.
"It was an incredible knock, one of the greatest I've ever seen" former England captain Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports.
"There wasn't a part of Ross' body that wasn't hurting - he would have got 200 if it were not for him turning down so many singles.
"He went in the quad, then in the hip, the arm, everywhere."
Tom Latham shrugged off some recent poor form to anchor for veteran Taylor, hitting a clinical 71 from 67.
Taylor and Henry Nicholls reached the final over and struck the three runs needed. Nicholls won the match with a six over square leg.
The Black Caps' win sends the two sides into a decider on Saturday in Christchurch.
Batting first, England roared out to 1-267 with 13 overs to spare with Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root notching centuries. But, their middle order collapsed, losing 6-21.
Bairstow walloped 138, while Root played his way to 102.
For the Kiwis, Ish Sodhi took 4-58 from his 10 overs, while Munro and Trent Boult each collected two wickets.
"A lot of credit has to go to the way the guys bowled in the back third of that game, to restrict them to 335," Williamson said.
"Ross, after a tough start, he got himself in and played his best one-day knock, one of the great one-day knocks we've seen in a chasing effort.
"An outstanding performance from him and a great partnership with Tom."
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Tom Curran, Mark Wood.