Cricket

Taylor's ton helps NZ to ODI victory over South Africa

New Zealand's Ross Taylor bats during the second one-day international cricket match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch on February 22, 2017.
New Zealand's Ross Taylor bats during the second one-day international cricket match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch on February 22, 2017. Marty MELVILLE / AFP

A record-breaking century from Ross Taylor steered New Zealand to a six run win over South Africa in the second one-day international in Christchurch on Wednesday. Taylor scored an unbeaten 102 as New Zealand set the tourists a target of 290. 

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South Africa just fell short despite 26 ball half-century from Dwaine Pretorius.

The New Zealand victory ends a 12 match winning streak for South Africa in one day internationals (ODI) and levels the five game series in New Zealand at 1-1.

Taylor completed his ton in dramatic fashion with a boundary off the last ball of the innings thereby claiming a New Zealand record of 17 ODI centuries.

The 32-year-old had shared the record of 16 centuries with Nathan Astle. "Nath was one of my idols growing up," said Taylor. "So it's a little bit embarrassing from that point of view ... but records are there to be broken."

Taylor, who also became only the fourth New Zealander to score 6,000 ODI runs, received solid support from captain Kane Williamson and Jimmy Neesham.

Neesham scored an unbeaten 71, while Williamson notched 69. However, there were also concerns for New Zealand, with opener Tom Latham and Neil Broom only scoring two runs apiece.

Several South African batsmen - including Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers - made good starts with 57 and 45 respectively but were unable to go on and anchor the innings.

The tourists looked to have no chance at 214 for eight but Pretorius gave the Black Caps some nervous moments, helped by misfields and poor bowling at the death.

He was dropped on 15 and made the most of the reprieve, smashing two sixes and four fours to keep the result in the balance. When he was finally bowled by Trent Boult with one over to go South Africa needed 15 off six balls but it proved too much for Andile Phehlukwayo.

South Africa skipper de Villiers blamed sloppy batting for the defeat. "We've got a few things to work on," he said. "There were quite a few soft dismissals, including mine, and not enough good partnerships. The partnerships that we did get going we couldn't extend. You have to do that if you want to win games of cricket."

 

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