4th ODI: Ross Taylor's ton scripts NZ's series win as India lose No.1 rank
Ross Taylor hammered a ninth ODI ton to help New Zealand score a 7-wicket win over India to clinch the 5-match series on Tuesday.
Ross Taylor scored his 9th hundred to help New Zealand beat India by 7 wickets in the fourth ODI to help his side claim the series with an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5-match series. (All images from AP and AFP)
New Zealand's 279-run chase was off to a rollicking start with Martin Guuptill and Jesse Ryder shared a 54-run opening wicket stand inside 8 overs.
Jesse Ryder was the first to get out, bowled by Varun Aaron for a quick 19.
Mohd Shami then struck to remove Martin Guptill for 35. Guptill was out LBW in the ninth over. Guptill's wicket gave India much hope as it reduced the Kiwi run-scoring rate considerably.
Ross Taylor had to then dig deep with Kane Williamson for the third-wicket partnership as the Indian bowlers were on top. The right-handed former skipper first concentrated on taking the ones and the twos before going for big strokes.
Kane Williamson continued his golder run of form and scored a fourth half-century in-a-row. Williamson shared 130 runs with Taylor to dent India's chances in the match.
With close to a run-a-ball needed in the final 15 overs, skipper Brendon McCullum walked out to bat and he meant purpose straightaway. His unbeaten 49 came off 36 balls and hit 4 fours and 3 sixes.
This drop chance to dismiss McCullum was testimony of the fact that India were outplayed in all departments of the game.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja shared a quick-fire 127-run partnership for the 6th wicket to help India register 278/5 in the must-win fourth ODI at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Indian innings was off to a shaky start with Virat Kohli being the first batsman dismissed for just 2. Kohli was opening the batting in place of Shikhar Dhawan, who was left out of the XI.
Ajinkya Rahane, sent in to bat at No.3, too failed to get going and was dismissed for 3.
India were in a tricky situation, two down for 22 inside 9 overs. Kiwi seamer Tim Southee troubled Indians with pace and bounce and it worked as both Kohli and Rahane were out playing a pull shot.
Out of form Rohit Sharma converted his steady start this time around and scored a 94-ball 79, that provided a platform for Dhoni and Co. to attack in the latter part of the innings.
After Rohit, R Ashwin was promoted up the order, following his crucial maiden fifty in the previous game, but the move failed as the right-hander could only manage 5. Jadeja, coming in at No.7, was circumspect to start with.
But it was soon that Jadeja started taking on the Kiwi bowlers, hammering as many as 2 sixes and 8 fours in his 54-ball 62*.
Dhoni, who scored his third fifty in-a-row, smashed 79 unbeaten off 73 balls with the help of 6 fours and 3 sixes.
All-rounder James Neesham, who had replaced Corey Anderson in the Kiwi XI, could not fill the void with the ball, going wicketless in his 8 overs for 59 runs. Neesham was hit for 17 runs in the final over.