Taylor’s hundred propels Zimbabwe to 287

Shukriya Pakistan

AUCKLAND: Departing Zimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor hit a brilliant century to guide Zimbabwe to an imposing 287 all out in their World Cup Pool B match against India in Auckland on Saturday.

The 29-year-old, possibly playing his last international match for Zimbabwe after signing a deal with English county Nottinghamshire, smashed 15 boundaries and five towering sixes in his 110-ball 138.

Taylor’s ton anchored his team, unable to qualify for the quarter-finals, after they were sent into bat by defending champions India — already through to the last eight — on a bare Eden Park pitch.

He added an invaluable 93 for the fourth wicket with Sean Williams (50) and another 109 for the next with Craig Ervine (27) to help Zimbabwe recover from a struggling 33 for three,

Taylor guided paceman Mohammad Shami’s short-pitched ball over the third man boundary for a six to reach his successive hundred in the World Cup off 99 balls.

In the process Taylor became the only Zimbabwe batsman to hit back-to-back hundreds at the World Cup, with this innings following his 121 against Ireland.

Taylor then smashed left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for three boundaries and two sixes in one over to complete his 400 runs in the tournament — another Zimbabwe first at a World Cup.

He eventually out off paceman Mohit Sharma, who also ended Ervine’s knock to finish with three for 48

Shami and Umesh Yadav also took three wickets apiece.

Before Taylor came into his own, Zimbabwe had lost Hamilton Masakadza (two), Chamu Chibhabha (seven) and Solomon Mire (nine) by the 11th over.

Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza chipped in with a 15-ball 28, including three sixes and a four, to give the innings some much-needed impetus.

For the first time in the tournament, India’s bowling was tested as spinners Ravichandran Ashwin went for 75 and Jadeja for 71 respectively in their ten overs apiece. -AFP