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New Zealand are under pressure, says Ross Taylor

The 31-year-old praised Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Ervine for their brilliant knocks that set up the chase for Zimbabwe.

Ross Taylor New Zealand cricket.
Ross Taylor looks on as Hamilton Masakadza plays a shot during his knock of 84 in the 1st ODI

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor acknowledged that his side are under pressure after losing the opening match against hosts Zimbabwe, according a report by ESPNCricinfo. He also praised the way in which the likes of Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Ervine were able to chase down the target of 303 with an over to spare.

Taylor, along with Kane Williamson smashed centuries, the former thereby equalling Kiwi great Nathan Astle’s record of 27 international centuries in all three formats. Their efforts went in vain though as the hosts picked up a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. 

The 31-year-old admitted he was left surprised after Zimbabwe registered their second-highest successful ODI chase of all time. 

“We were very happy with 300 - we thought it was probably a 270-280 wicket so we thought we were probably 20 ahead," he said. "But the way Chibhabha and Hamilton came out and got them off to a good start, it was always going to be tough to peg them back. If we were able to pick up wickets through the middle, we would have given ourselves a chance but we weren't able to do that.”

Ervine and Masakadza took the game away from us: Taylor

Taylor praised the Zimbabwe batsmen for their outstanding displays but felt his side could have performed better. 

"The way Ervine batted as well as Masakadza, they batted outstandingly well and took the game away from us. To get there with an over to spare was a very good effort.The way they manipulated the right-left combination and being able to put our spinners under pressure throughout the whole match played a big part. We will be better for the hit-out. We were a bit down on our fielding. We pride ourselves on our fielding and we let a few things through that we would normally stop on a good day."

The middle order batsman stressed the importance of getting things back on track quickly if they are to avoid a second consecutive ODI-series loss, post their brilliant World Cup run in which they reached the final. They had lost the series against England 3-2. 

"Anytime you go 1-0 down in a three-match series you are under pressure and Zimbabwe play very well at home," Taylor said after the loss. "But we will analyse it and come back better in a couple of days' time. It's only one game, but we have to win the next two to win the series. Tuesday becomes a very important match,” Taylor said.

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