New Zealand v England ODI series: Ross Taylor hits magnificent 181 to force series decider on Saturday

Cricket
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor celebrates his century
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor celebrates his century

England are 8/11 to win their ODI decider on Saturday after Ross Taylor's magnificent 181 helped New Zealand to level the series at 2-2.

Ross Taylor battled injury to strike a wonderful innings that gave New Zealand a five-wicket win over England in Dunedin to level the series at 2-2 and force a winner-takes-all decider on Saturday.

England themselves had been flying but suffered a huge batting collapse to leave a lot of runs out on the field as they closed on 335-9.

ODI decider odds: New Zealand 11/10 England 8/11

The tourists had appeared sure to prevail in Dunedin when Jonny Bairstow's wonderfully clean striking and Joe Root's perfect foil took them to 267-1 with twin hundreds in an all-Yorkshire stand of 190.

But once Bairstow went for 138, an alarming collapse of six wickets for 21 runs took hold largely to the leg-spin of Ish Sodhi (4-58) as England had to settle for 335-9.

Then Taylor (181no), who came to the crease at 2-2 and suffered increasingly with the quadriceps injury which ruled him out of the previous match, launched a telling recovery with captain Kane Williamson and Tom Latham (71) to secure victory with three balls to spare and set up a series decider in Christchurch on Saturday.

Bairstow's departure, after hitting seven sixes and 14 fours from 106 balls, kick-started England's crumble when a huge total was there for the taking.

Their innings was an oddity of extremes, reaching an imperious position yet then contriving a remarkable misfire before number 10 Tom Curran hit four of the last five balls from Tim Southee for four.

Bairstow and Jason Roy hit an opening stand of 77 in under 11 overs until Roy mis-swept Sodhi's second delivery low to Mitchell Santner at short fine-leg.

Bairstow continued to clear the ropes at apparent will - and Jos Buttler's national-record eight sixes in an ODI innings was at his mercy, as was Roy's highest individual score of 180, until Bairstow skewed another attempted big hit for a steepling catch at short third-man off Colin Munro.

Eoin Morgan promoted Buttler to number four to keep the pressure on, but he went for a second-ball duck, and the potential might of Morgan, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali quickly amounted to a mere nine runs.

Within three overs of the chase Munro was lbw for a golden duck, needlessly taking New Zealand's review back to the pavilion with him, after Mark Wood pinned him in front of middle - and both openers were gone without a run between them when Martin Guptill tried to hit Chris Woakes over the top but holed out to mid-off.

Stokes' first delivery was then too much for Williamson, caught down the leg-side and unable to review despite his apparent disappointment with the decision.

But more significantly, Moeen dropped a straightforward caught-and-bowled offered by Latham on four, and gradually it emerged there would be no way back for England during a stand of 187.

There were two late wickets for Curran, but Colin de Grandhomme's big hitting applied most of the finishing touches before Henry Nicholls settled matters with a winning six in the final over.

Taylor remained unbeaten with 17 fours and six sixes from 147 balls after passing his career-best on the eve of his 34th birthday.

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