PALLEKELE: Birthday boy Ross Taylor destroyed the Pakistan attack in a devastating display of power hitting on Tuesday - and revealed he had done it all with a broken bat.
Taylor, celebrating his 27th birthday, hit 131 in 124 balls with a whopping seven sixes to take his side to a total of 302-7 in their 50 overs at the Pallekele stadium.
He was helped out by Nathan McCullum, who smashed 19 in just 10 balls, and Jacob Oram, who hit 25 in nine balls, including three sixes, off a shell-shocked Pakistan attack.
Before he had even opened his account, Taylor received a huge let-off when an edge flew between wicket-keeper and first slip, and the same over 'keeper' Kamran Akmal put down a straightforward chance behind the stumps when he was on eight.
“I had a bit of luck early on which I put down to my birthday but towards the end there I hit a few boundaries which was pretty sweet,” said Taylor.
He said it had been tough going early on.
“They're very good exponents of reverse swing. I played and missed a lot but hopefully we can learn from the way they bowled.”
Towards the end of his innings Taylor signalled for a new bat and he revealed the one he had been using had suffered damage before the match.
“I cracked it in the nets a couple of days ago. It seemed to go OK today but hopefully the new one can be just as good,” he said.
Taylor said New Zealand's approach had been to establish themselves before launching a blitz at the end of their innings.
“One of our strengths is the power we have down the bottom and it showed today with the way Nathan McCullum batted and Jake (Oram). We had a bit of impetus to go into it so it was really good.”