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Ross Taylor slams century as New Zealand level series with a thrilling six-run win

Ross Taylor scored his 17th ODI century
Ross Taylor scored his 17th ODI century

New Zealand 289-4 (Taylor 102no) beat
South Africa 283-9 (de Kock 57) by six runs
Second One-Day International in Christchurch

Ross Taylor scored an unbeaten century and Trent Boult followed it with a three-wicket haul as New Zealand went on to level the One-Day International series 1-1 following their close six-run victory in the second game in Christchurch.

South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl first. Dean Brownlie (34) started the proceedings with a couple of boundaries in the third over but Tom Latham (2) had another failure when he chipped a Wayne Parnell (1-49) delivery to square leg.

Brownlie continued his momentum and scored three more boundaries in the eighth over and New Zealand ended the first powerplay at 39 for one.

After adding 40 runs with skipper Kane Williamson (69), Brownlie was trapped LBW by Dwaine Pretorius (2-40) in the 13th over.

Taylor (102 not out) and Williamson looked assertive and New Zealand reached 123 for two at the half-way mark after the duo completed their 50-run stand that came off 60 deliveries.

Williamson brought his own half-century off 59 balls and the 100-run partnership came in the 30th over by the end of which the Black Caps were positioned 155 for two.

Just when the pair looked threatening, Williamson holed out to long-on to give Imran Tahir (1-61) the wicket. In the same over, Taylor smashed a boundary to reach his fifty and also complete 6,000 runs in ODIs.

Even though Neil Broom (2) fell cheaply, Taylor along with James Neesham (71 not out) ensured New Zealand reached 289 for four in the 50 overs with their unbeaten 133-run stand.

Taylor's century came in the final ball of the innings when he smashed a boundary to go past Nathan Astle's record of 16 while Neesham scored at a strike-rate close to 125.

Quinton de Kock (57) once again looked threatening at the start but Hashim Amla (10) was trapped LBW by Tim Southee (1-60).

De Kock along with Faf du Plessis (11) ensured the Proteas ended the first powerplay at 48 for one. Colin de Grandhomme (1-10) castled du Plessis after which de Kock failed to get much of the strike.

De Kock added a 53-run stand with JP Duminy (34) and it ended when the latter was stumped off Mitchell Santner (2-46). Soon after he scored his 11th half-century, de Kock holed out to deep square to give Boult (3-63) his first wicket and South Africa slipped to 124 for four.

AB de Villiers (45) and David Miller (28) raised the hopes of the visitors with their 68-run stand that came off 72 deliveries but a brilliant glove work from wicket-keeper Latham saw both dismissed in a span of three overs bowled by Ish Sodhi (1-63) and Boult.

Despite, losing wickets at regular intervals Pretorius played a brilliant knock to complete a 26-ball half-century that kept South Africa in the game.

The target was down to 20 runs off the final two overs and Boult castled the South African all-rounder in the final ball of the penultimate over leaving 15 runs to get off the final six deliveries.

Andile Phehlukwayo (29 not out) struck two boundaries in the final over bowled by Southee but fell short of the target by seven runs.

Taylor was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant century as New Zealand levelled the series 1-1.

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