Ross Taylor made 14 for New Zealand against the Netherlands in the third one-day cricket international on Monday, coming to the crease and leaving it to a standing ovation. (More Cricket News)
The match was Taylor's 450th and last for New Zealand before he retires at the end of a 16-year international career. The 38-year-old batsman played his last test against South Africa this year but decided to make this match on his home ground at Seddon Park his final bow.
His children, MacKenzie, Jonty and Adelaide, stood beside him during the national anthems and he went through an honor guard formed by Netherlands players.
Taylor played his first one-day international for New Zealand in 2006 and his first test the following year. He went on to play 112 tests, scoring 7,683 runs, including 19 centuries, and 236 one-day internationals in which he made 8,593 runs. He also scored 1,909 runs in 102 Twenty20 internationals.
Taylor had a long wait for his last innings Monday. 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 to win the match by 115 runs and sweep the three-match series.
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 toward 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.”