New Zealand gave veteran batsman Ross Taylor the perfect farewell by overpowering the Netherlands by 115 runs in the final ODI to complete a 3-0 series clean-sweep in Hamilton on Monday.
Taylor, 38, was playing his last international match for the Black Caps and struggled to hold back tears when the teams lined up for national anthems at Seddon Park for his final ODI.
Taylor played his first one-dayer 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 ODIs in which he made 8,607 runs. He also scored 1,909 runs in 102 T20s.
Taylor had a long wait for his last innings on Monday. The Black Caps 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.
Taylor received a guard of honour from the Dutch side when he walked out to bat, but only managed 14 off 16 balls.
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.
Taylor's final act in international cricket was taking a catch to seal New Zealand's comprehensive victory.
“Ross is undoubtedly one of the absolute greats of New Zealand cricket and one of the greats of world cricket as well,” New Zealand Cricket chairman Martin Snedden said.
“But it isn't just the stats that has endeared him to the cricketing public of New Zealand. That's his own personal qualities.
“Over the years, we've seen the humbleness, we've seen the smile, and we've seen the dedication to the cause of the Blackcaps.”
Taylor, presented with a traditional Samoan necklace, thanked New Zealand Cricket and his teammates for their support.
“It's been a pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it,” the former New Zealand captain said. “I'll be watching from afar to see how you guys go.”
“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.”
Taylor's career could have ended in 2015-16 when a growth in his eye hindered his batting to such an extent he struggled to see the moving ball. But he regained his touch following surgery, emerging as the most prolific New Zealand batsman.