Finish by wiping.
Sixteen years after the start of one of New Zealand’s great sporting careers, Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor played his last shot at international cricket.
It was, quite aptly, the shot that became Taylor’s trademark, the one with which he looted countless limits in 450 matches for his country.
Less fit, after scoring a final six minutes above the midwicket a few minutes earlier, that shot went straight on, ending a short stay in the middle at Seddon Park and ending Taylor’s term at the Black Caps.
The 38-year-old had only added 14 to a career record that, in all formats, will now remain at 18,199 runs.
But the dismissal did not matter much. Not even the details: Logan van Beek was caught and shot as the Netherlands struggled to avoid a 3-0 defeat.
What mattered to those on the ground on a sunny Hamilton afternoon was the opportunity to say goodbye – and thank – the most productive batsman in the country.
Ross Taylor greets the crowd for the last time since his dismissal. Photo / photosport.nz
The long goodbye that started with the final of Taylor’s test match in January culminated in the moments before his last one-day international. Usually, the national anthem is played only before the first game of a series, but there was nothing typical about today.
At Taylor’s request, he took one last chance to hear the hymn wearing a silver fern on his chest. Standing with his good friend Martin Guptill, the children Mackenzie, Jonty and Adelaide next to him, Taylor could not help but shed tears.
Seddon Park was constantly filled with those who were fortunate enough to avoid working for the history of kiwi cricket. There were makeshift signs of support, black shirts with Taylor’s name on the back and, for 2022, even a mask with his face.
New Zealand had already won the launch and, to the delight of the home fans, they chose to put the bat: the Black Hats and Taylor would probably get the full 50 over.
What these fans did not anticipate, however, was the 203 itinerary that Guptill would share with Will Young for the second wicket, a base that left Taylor watching and waiting with his pillows tied to the kiosk.
He watched Guptil upload 7,000 runs, the fourth New Zealander to arrive at the club, one led by Taylor. He watched as Guptill reached No. 17 in the ODI century, clearing second place on the all-time list, behind, as you might have guessed, Taylor with 21.
And then, finally, he saw Guptill fall from the first ball of the 39th over. The crowd rose to their feet almost immediately as Taylor rose to his feet.
The Dutch team forms an honorary guard as Ross Taylor comes out to bat. Photo / Getty
Guptill stayed right in the limit and greeted his best man with a fist, while the Dutch hosts formed an honorary guard near the wicket.
After being pinned to the first ball of the glove, Taylor called the coach and drew some attention and then left the spot with a cut in the spot.
Each run cheered and, adding to the atmosphere, the speaker system shut down the UB40 red wine, honoring the man of the moment.
Then it was time for Taylor to give the crowd something to really cheer for, falling to one knee and unleashing his trademark for six.
He appeared in a good mood. The cameo seemed to fit in with his glittering career. But then, 22 minutes after it started, it ended.
A misplaced slogan by van Beek flew from Taylor’s top, high in the sky, and that was it.
The crowd once again stood as Taylor took off his helmet, greeting each other for the last occasion. And just like at the beginning of his participation, Guptill was ready and waiting for Taylor to return, greeting his partner with a big hug.
LRPL Taylor, c & b van Beek, 14.
Martin Guptil hugs Ross Taylor after his last international appearances. Photo / Getty
– by Kris Shannon, NZ Herald
Taylor bows appropriately on the emotional day
Source link Taylor bows appropriately on the emotional day