Hamilton - New Zealand sealed their one-day international series against India with a
game to spare Tuesday when a Ross Taylor century set up a convincing
seven-wicket victory in the fourth ODI.
It was New Zealand's third win in the five-match series, with one match tied
and one remaining.
At Hamilton's Seddon Park, they chased down India's 278-5 for the loss of
only three wickets and with 11 balls to spare after Taylor paved the way with a
masterful 112 not out.
He received sound support from Kane Williamson (60) as they rebuilt the
innings and then from Brendon McCullum (49 not out), who finished the match
with a colossal six.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had won the toss and opted to bowl
in the first three games, won the toss again and this time decided to bat.
But the change of tactics did not improve their fortunes.
In addition to losing the series, India also slipped from number one in the
world one-day rankings to number two, behind Australia.
New Zealand improved from a lowly eighth to seventh.
Faced with a target of 279 on a run-laden wicket, New Zealand opened at a
rapid rate with Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill clocking up 54 in seven overs
before falling in quick succession.
Ryder was bowled by Varun Aaron for 19 and Guptill was trapped leg before by
Mohammed Shami for 35, leaving Williamson and Taylor to consolidate the innings
as they have done so often before.
Their cautious approach to India's spin twins Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra
Jadeja saw the run rate slump, although New Zealand still reached 100 in 22
overs compared to 25 overs for India.
Williamson and Taylor put on 130 for the third wicket, taking New Zealand to
188, when the partnership was broken by a slick piece of fielding by Jadeja.
Williamson prodded a Jadeja delivery towards mid on but the bowler fielded,
turned and threw down the stumps - leaving Williamson well short of an
attempted quick single.
McCullum, coming in off back-to-back ducks, offered Mohammed Shami a tough
caught and bowled chance on one, then joined Taylor in a 92-run stand to close
out the game.
Taylor, who has not hit a six all series, had 15 fours in his 112 off 127
deliveries, while McCullum faced 36 balls and hit three sixes and four fours in
India's innings was built around an unbeaten 127-run stand between Dhoni (79
not out) and Jadeja (62 not out).
Rohit Sharma (79) and Ambati Rayudu (37) were the only other India batsmen
to reach double figures.
The experiment of promoting Virat Kohli to opener failed to pay off when he
was dismissed for two in the fourth over.
Ajinkya Rahane went for three and Ambati Rayudu for 37 as the first three
Indian wickets to fall all resulted from uncontrolled hook shot.
For New Zealand, Southee was the most economical bowler with two wickets for
The final ODI is in Wellington on Friday, to be followed by two Tests.