HAMILTON: An emotional Ross Taylor got a winning farewell from his New Zealand team mates who thrashed the Netherlands by 115 runs in the final one-dayer to complete a 3-0 series sweep on Monday.
The 38-year-old, who played the last of his 112 tests in January, could not hold back tears when the teams lined up for national anthems at Hamilton’s Seddon Park for his 236th and final ODI in New Zealand colours.
Taylor, who has played 450 matches for New Zealand in all formats since his ODI debut in Napier 16 years ago, received a guard of honour from the Dutch side when he walked out to bat.
He managed 14 off 16 balls before retiring as New Zealand’s most successful one-day batsman having accumulated 8,607 runs including 21 hundreds and 51 half-centuries, both record marks for his country.
Taylor’s final act in international cricket was taking a catch to seal New Zealand’s comprehensive victory watched by his family.
His children, MacKenzie, Jonty and Adelaide, stood beside him during the national anthems and he went through an honor guard formed by Netherlands players.
“Ross is undoubtedly one of the absolute greats of New Zealand cricket and one of the greats of world cricket as well,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chairman Martin Snedden said.
“But it isn’t just the stats that has endeared him to the cricketing public of New Zealand, that’s his own personal qualities.”
Taylor had a long wait for his last innings. New Zealand batted first after winning the toss and a 203-run partnership for the second wicket between Martin Guptill and Will Young delayed his appearance until the 39th over.
Guptill made 106 and Young went on to 120 as New Zealand made 333-8. Matt Henry then took 4-36 as New Zealand bowled out the Netherlands for 218.
As soon as he appeared the crowd rose to its feet. Taylor hit a six among his 14 runs before mistiming a ball from Logan van Beek and offering the bowler a simple return catch.
He turned towards the changing room for the last time with a faint smile on his face. The opposing players formed up on either side as he walked slowly from the field, acknowledging the long ovation of the crowd.
Taylor has long been a fan favorite for his steadiness, reliability and his ready smile.
“For me it was just being a player that tries fight in as many situations as possible, gave it my all, played with a smile on my face and hopefully represented my country proudly and with a lot of respect,” Taylor told Radio New Zealand.
“That’s always what I wanted to do play for my country.
“And hopefully that’s something it’ll be cool to be remembered for.”