Ross Taylor's heroic 181 helps New Zealand defeat England

Ross Taylor's heroic 181 helps New Zealand defeat England

Ross Taylor's heroic 181 helps New Zealand defeat England

But this was an innings which had so much more.

Before Taylor's brilliance, New Zealand had mostly been poor and a ninth loss in their past 11 games was on the cards.

Yet the demise of Bairstow sparked a bad England collapse and even though they mustered 335 for nine they were under par for conditions and gave New Zealand the chance to level what has been a brilliant 50-over series. He was also hit on the toe by Tom Curran just for good measure. He may not have the style of a Joe Root or a Virat Kohli and he doesn't often play down the ground in the classical fashion but Taylor can make batting look effortless as all the very best players can. He received support from Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler but could not motor on. The ball raced from his blade today.

Taylor says he should be fine to take his place in the XI. It's nice to be there at the end.

"I got hit during the game in Hamilton, then hit on the same spot in training twice".

"We just had to give ourselves a chance". Just had to take it as deep as possible even though we were at a disadvantage in the beginning of our innings.

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The right hander scored 72 runs from 41 deliveries after suffering the quad injury.

Williamson finished 112 not out, rebuilding New Zealand's innings after a middle-order collapse provoked by off-spinner Moeen Ali, who took 3-36 from his 10 overs, and leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who took 2-34.

New Zealand made one switch, the fit-again Ross Taylor coming in for Mark Chapman, meaning they retain the twin-spin attack with Ish Sodhi alongside Mitchell Santner. Keeping that run going will set up a series decider in Christchurch.

At two for two England were eyeing a series win but a 187 run fourth wicket stand between Taylor (180 not out) and Tom Latham (71) wrested the game back New Zealand's way when the run rate at one stage had closed in on 10 an over. "It's still sinking in", Taylor said. His first four balls were smashed for 15 runs to leave the Black Caps needing a run a ball from the final six overs. Since then, he has averaged 65.50 in one-day cricket, with four centuries and nine half-centuries to his name. "One of the great one-day knocks we've seen in a chasing effort". An outstanding performance from him.

Admittedly the odds are not overwhelmingly in their favour - England are 8/13 for victory, compared to New Zealand's 13/10 - but the manner in which England got across the line at Wellington no doubt aids the impression that they've got the measure of this series. Since the beginning of 2014, Taylor has averaged almost 60 in ODI cricket from 75 matches. The South African surpassed Virat Kohli, who scored his 19th hundred in the 124 ODI innings.

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