AUCKLAND: Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor celebrated his last international before taking up an English county contract by scoring 138 in his country’s final cricket World Cup Pool B match against India on Saturday.
Taylor reached his eighth one-day international hundred, a Zimbabwe record, with a ramp shot off Mohammed Shami which steered the ball over third man for a six. He was the first Zimbabwe batsman to score consecutive centuries in a World Cup.
The Zimbabwe skipper then belted left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for three fours and two sixes in one over to become the second-highest run scorer in the tournament before he was caught off Mohit Sharma.
Zimbabwe have already been eliminated from the tournament and were eventually dismissed for 287 in 48.5 overs against an unbeaten India, who will top the group regardless of the result.
After Zimbabwe had slumped to 33-3 against the defending champions, Taylor added 93 with Sean Williams (50), who hoisted three sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin before the off-spinner took his revenge by holding a sharp caught-and-bowled chance.
Craig Ervine took up where Williams had left off in a partnership of 109 from 80 balls with Taylor, before he was caught and bowled by Mohit for 27 and Sikandar Raza (28) hit a four and successive sixes off Shami.
India, brimming with confidence after five consecutive tournament victories, opted to field after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss on a hot, sunny day at Eden Park, which gradually filled with enthusiastic Indian spectators during the afternoon.
Dhoni took two simple catches to dismiss openers Hamilton Masakadza (2) and Chamu Chibhabha (7) but then spilled a chance off Williams when the left-hander had scored only two.