Ross Taylor heroics drive New Zealand

Ross Taylor’s impressive 181 not out guided New Zealand to a five-wicket win to level their one-day series against England at 2-2 with a game still to play.

Ross Taylor’s unbeaten 181 powered New Zealand to an impressive win over England

In a series which has produced many twists and turns, the latest episode saw Taylor battle a thigh injury superbly as the hosts overcame England’s total of 335.

Henry Nicholls struck a six in the final over to secure a second win in the one-day series for the hosts as they entered the closing over needing to add just three more for the win.

The visitors had set a total of over 300 but Jason Roy’s wicket fell first as he was caught by Mitchell Santner for 42.

Centuries from Jonny Bairstow (138) and Joe Root (102) saw England on 267/1 at one stage, but five wickets fell in quick succession as Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Mooen Ali were skittled for just 13 runs.

A strong start by England’s bowlers saw New Zealand reduced to 2/2 following the early losses of their openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill. However, a 94-run stand between Taylor and Kane Williamson was followed with a record fourth-wicket partnership against England of 187, as Taylor and Tom Latham put the hosts in the driving seat.

Having been dropped by Moeen for four, Latham was eventually dismissed for 71 before Colin de Grahndhomme returned to the changing room after being caught by Chris Woakes for 23.

But Taylor, who was showing clear signs of being in pain, hit Woakes for 13 in the 47th over to set-up a grandstand finish.

The struggling batsman was forced to watch the final over from the non-batting end as Nicholls faced two dot balls before diverting a half volley over the square leg boundary to ensure a splendid victory for the hosts and a somewhat disappointing defeat for England.

The tourists will be kicking themselves after coming so close to wrapping up the series in Dunedin, however, all eyes will be focused on what is certain to be another entertaining fixture in Christchurch on Saturday.

By Matt Lee

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