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Taylor's birthday wish comes true

Agencies

Posted: Mar 09, 2011 at 0951 hrs IST
      

Pallekele (Sri Lanka): It was a birthday wish that came true for Ross Taylor as he struck a match-winning unbeaten hundred against Pakistan in a World Cup group game and said it more than made up for not getting any presents on his special day.

The New Zealand vice-captain's 131 in 124 balls with eight fours and seven sixes helped his team score 92 runs in the last four overs to reach a total of 302 for seven, which Pakistan failed to chase.

"I didn't get any birthday presents today, but there were lots of messages in e-mail and Facebook wishing me. Lot of them said you should get a hundred on your birthday. It doesn't happen often, but it happened today," Taylor told reporters after the 110-run win.

New Zealand reached the top of Group A table after ending Pakistan's unbeaten run in the competition and it is quite an impressive performance as the team's form in ODI cricket in the last six months has been disappointing having suffered clean sweeps at the hands of Bangladesh and India, followed by a home series loss to Pakistan.

"We never played good cricket in the last six months or so. Dan (Vettori) told us to turn up today. We did that. Had a bit of luck early on and caught up in the last 25-30 deliveries," Taylor said.

Pakistan had two chances to dismiss Taylor before he had opened the account and then on eight both off Shoaib Akthar, but wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal failed to grab both.

"I have not been in the greatest of form. When you go through that you need a bit of luck. I have been searching for that and today was one of those days," Taylor said.

New Zealand were 210 for six in 46 overs before the turnaround in the last four overs.

"Pakistan are experts in reverse swing. It was tough out there. After seeing off Umar Gul we knew we really could get a few runs and that's how it worked. We were targeting something like 260, certainly not 300," he said.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, meanwhile, blamed his bowlers for lacking variation towards the end.

"We didn't bowl well today. We didn't do variations as well. Generally we bowl yorkers towards the end, but we didn't do that today," he said.

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