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ON FIRE: Taylor brought up his 10th One-Day International century after 105 balls with a boundary hit through mid-wicket. Photo: AFP

5th ODI: New Zealand relish Taylor-ed victory

WELLINGTON: A Ross Taylor-inspired New Zealand crushed India by 87 runs in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) in Wellington on Friday to extend the tourists’ miserable run against the Black Caps.
India could manage only 216 in reply to New Zealand’s 303 for five, slumping to a 4-0 series loss despite a battling 82 from Virat Kohli.
Veteran batsman Taylor blazed his second successive century to set India the imposing run chase before seamer Matt Henry skittled the world champions’ top order in a dream debut, claiming four for 38.
The result completes New Zealand’s best one-day winning streak against India in 33 years and provides a huge psychological boost ahead of a two-Test series next month.
Meanwhile, India’s failure to perform against modest opposition has seen them ousted from top spot in the ODI rankings by Australia, and will raise questions about their form away from home ahead of next year’s World Cup.
Captain MS Dhoni said the result was disappointing but showed opposing teams were targeting India because of their recent success.
“It’s a phase that we’re going through, but what will be crucial is what kind of solutions we have got and how we plan to get out of it,” he said, adding that he was determined to stay positive despite the defeat.
Team effort pays off
Taylor laid the foundations for victory with a commanding 102, receiving able support from Kane Williamson (88), who has posted a half-century in every match of the series.
Jimmy Neesham contributed an unbeaten 34 off 19 balls to take New Zealand past 300, a mark that India’s batsmen reached only once in the series.
India’s top order again threw away their wickets cheaply, with Rohit Sharma dismissed for four by Kyle Mills and Henry coaxing an edge from Shikhar Dhawan (9) in his second over of international cricket.
India’s run chase effectively ended when Kohli holed out charging Nathan McCullum in the 37th over, with skipper Dhoni (47) the only other batsman to fire.

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