sport

Taylor guides Kiwis home

Ross Taylor scored an unbeaten century to guide New Zealand to a seven-wicket victory over India in the fourth ODI in Hamilton.

India scored 278-5 in their 50 overs as they sought to save the series but the home side now have the chance to win the five-match series 4-0 on Friday.

Rohit Sharma (79), MS Dhoni (79no) and Ravindra Jadeja (62no) all made half-centuries but their efforts were in vain as the Black Caps reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

Taylor added a crucial 130 with Kane Williamson (60) for the third wicket before he and Brendon McCullum (49no) put on an unbeaten 92 to see the hosts to a fourth successive victory in the series.

New Zealand had made a dashing start, racing to 50 in seven overs with 10 fours and a six but the loss of openers Jesse Ryder (35) and Martin Guptill (35) in the space of five balls threatened to derail the run chase.

Taylor and Williamson consolidated and also saw off spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who loomed as a major threat on a slow and turning pitch at Seddon Park.

Both batsmen have been in rich form this series - Taylor added his century to two half centuries in previous matches while Williamson has made scores of 71, 77, 65 and 60 in his four innings.

After their partnership was ended by a run out with the total on 188-3, McCullum came to the crease under some pressure, having made ducks in his previous two innings.

He played some risky strokes but hit four fours and three sixes to quash any prospect of an India fightback.

India had lost the early wickets of Virat Kohli (2), who was promoted to open, and Ajinkya Rahane (3) and were just 28-2 after 10 overs but opener Sharma stabilized the innings with his 79 off 94 balls.

His loss - caught behind - and that of Ashwin for just five, brought together skipper Dhoni and Jadeja for a 127-run stand.

Dhoni's 73-ball innings contained six fours and three sixes, and Jadeja played an equally important role, making an unbeaten 62 from 54 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

The pair cut loose in the closing overs, adding exactly 100 in the final ten overs, including 17 off the last over, but India were ultimately undone by the slow run-rate in the early stages.