Ross Taylor powers Black Caps to victory in fourth ODI against England after heroic unbeaten 181 run effort with one leg




A titanic century from Ross Taylor has helped the Black Caps snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, outmuscling England by five wickets in today's fourth-ODI clash in Dunedin.

Taylor struck a career-high unbeaten 181 at University Oval, building into his innings before shaking off a thigh issue to thump boundary after boundary.

He hit 17 fours and six sixes in just 147 deliveries, appearing near-untouchable as the Kiwis chased down England's 335-9 total with three balls left.

In context, Taylor's efforts are made all the more outstanding.

The 33-year-old came to the crease in the third over after openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro both fell for ducks, the latter a golden duck.

At 2-2, the Kiwis were in dire straits, but Taylor and Kane Williamson steadied the ship with an 84-run stand before the former came into his own.

Favouring the leg side and scoring more than 80 of his runs at square leg and mid-wicket, Taylor battered English seam and spin, 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.

Tom Latham shrugged off some recent poor form to anchor for veteran Taylor, hitting a clinical 71 from 67, while Williamson had earlier struck 45.

But the day belonged to Taylor, as he and Henry Nicholls successfully struck the three runs they needed from the final over to triumph.

Nicholls won the match with a six over square leg.

The win ties the five-ODI series at two apiece, and sends the two sides into a closely-matched decider in Christchurch on Saturday.

Yet England can only blame themselves for not streaking off into the distance before Taylor even walked out to the middle.

Batting first, they had roared out to 267-1 with 13 overs to spare - and Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root notching impressive centuries - when their middle order collapsed, giving up six wickets for 21 runs.

Bairstow walloped 138, while Root played his way to 102.

For the Kiwis, Ish Sodhi was a standout and bowled 58-4 in his 10 overs, while Munro and Trent Boult each collected a pair of scalps.

"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."

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