Taylor’s century helps NZ beat Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI

NELSON, New Zealand (AP) — Ross Taylor posted his 20th one-day international century and Henry Nicholls scored his first as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 115 runs yesterday to sweep the ODI series 3-0.

Taylor made 137 and Nicholls 124 not out as New Zealand reached 364-4 batting first, highlighting the growing depth of its batting as it works towards the World Cup in England.

Sri Lanka were all out for 249 in 41.4 overs in reply, threatening New Zealand’s total briefly — especially when Thisara Perera (80) was at the crease — before again falling short.

Paceman Lockie Ferguson took 4-40 and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi snared 3-40 in the best performance by a New Zealand bowling unit which has been under pressure at times in the series.

But so great is the depth in New Zealand’s batting that Nicholls may be in danger missing selection if wicketkeeper and opening batsman Tom Latham is available.

Taylor became the first New Zealander to score 20 centuries in a single international cricket format and continued an extraordinary run of form which has seen him score 181 not out, 80, 86 not out, 54, 90 and 137 in his last six ODI innings. While he remains in the shadow of such players as Kane Williamson and the big-hitters Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, Taylor has become the heart of the one-day lineup.