Ross Taylor became New Zealand’s highest scorer in one-day internationals on Wednesday as he helped his side secure an 88-run victory over Bangladesh in Dunedin in their final official ODI before the World Cup.
The 34-year-old top-scored with 69, his 47th ODI half century, to move to 8,026 career runs and ahead of former captain Stephen Fleming’s 8,007 as New Zealand scored 330 for six at University Oval.
Tim Southee then took three wickets in his first two overs with Sabbir Rahman’s maiden one-day century not enough as Bangladesh were dismissed for 242 in 47.2 overs to give New Zealand a 3-0 series sweep. Southee finished with 6-65.
“I knew I was close at the start of the day … but that was only because I was told I was 50 runs away by a journalist yesterday,” Taylor told Sky Sports on Wednesday.
“It was nice to get the reception I got,” he added of the standing ovation he received when he reached 51 and the crowd were told of the significance of the score. “Very humbling.”
Thank you for all the messages of support. Humbled to go past @SPFleming7 who set the bar high for New Zealand and look forward to the chance to set it again for those to come.
— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) February 20, 2019
Congratulations @RossLTaylor amazing last 18 months and stellar career to date. Great player that I hope will set the bar high for the next. Well deserved and good luck over the next few months.
— Stephen Fleming (@SPFleming7) February 20, 2019
The right hander, who now has an average of 48.34, however, said he did not expect to hold the record for too long.
“It’s nice to set the bar for the next guy,” Taylor added. “Probably Guppy (Martin Guptill) and then Kane (Williamson) after that.”
Guptill, who scored centuries in each of the first two games, has 6440 runs at 43.51, while captain Williamson has 5554 at 45.90.
Taylor is in a rich run of form. He has scored 2892 at 68.85 with eight centuries since the last World Cup and averaged 91.28 last year, but sidestepped any questions about retirement.
“We’ll have to wait and see how the body is going,” said Taylor, who turns 35 on March 8.
“It’s definitely in your thinking, because you have to think about retirement after cricket.
“In saying that you still need to earn the right to play for the team. At the moment I’m really enjoying my time and hopefully I’ll have a couple of more years left in me.”
New Zealand have no more official ODIs before the World Cup starts on May 30, but Taylor said he felt they had learned enough from 3-0 series sweeps against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and a 4-1 loss to India to be competitive in England.
“I think we’re getting a good nucleus of depth in this team and hopefully we can go over and compete,” he said.
“I guess we need to have a full complement of batters and bowlers going well.”