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Top Halberg moments: Sweet and sour of Taylor's 290

Ross Taylor. Photo / NZME.
Ross Taylor. Photo / NZME.

Ross Taylor's 290 against Australia at Perth in November brimmed with agony and ecstasy for New Zealand sports fans.

The ecstasy? He surpassed England batsman Tip Foster's 287, a 112-year-old record for the highest test score by a visitor to Australia.

The agony? He fell nine runs short of mentor Martin Crowe's 299, 10 runs short of becoming the second New Zealander to score a test triple century, and 13 runs short of surpassing Brendon McCullum's record.

Players often get only one chance in a career to achieve 300 but, as always, the value of cricket feats are in their context. Did the team win, lose or draw? How did the innings contribute to the wider cause? Taylor's effort, eked out over nine hours, 27 minutes and 374 balls, took New Zealand to a draw. He gave one sharp chance to gully on 138.

His strike rate of 78 (McCullum's was 54 and Crowe's 57) would have given the Black Caps a sniff of victory if more than two quick Australian second innings wickets were gathered on the fourth afternoon.

The pitch was benign - referred to in The Australian newspaper as "batting in a nanny state" - and the bowlers slaved in the heat. However, to concentrate in an oven for that period while staring down 559-9 declared was akin to SAS training, but with more water.

Taylor forced Australia to yield, surpassing a New Zealand cricketing landmark in the process - Crowe's 188 against Australia at the Gabba in 1985.

There was a hoo-ha about no Australian handshakes when Taylor, the last wicket, holed out to Jon Wells at deep mid-wicket after sweeping Nathan Lyon. In fairness, he made a beeline for the dressing room, and had effectively reached his destination once the host players stopped celebrating.

Kiwi sports fans can vote for their choice by text message (once per day) or online at

How to vote:

Voting is now open for the Radio Sport Sporting Moment award. You can vote once a day from now until 9.00pm on Thursday 18 February 2016.

1. Online
Vote at

2. TXT
Text your Radio Sport Sporting Moment's unique code to 818:
1. Txt Sm1 to 818 to vote for SKYCITY Breakers
2. Txt Sm2 to 818 to vote for Grant Elliott
3. Txt Sm3 to 818 to vote for Kiwis
4. Txt Sm4 to 818 to vote for The Highlanders
5. Txt Sm5 to 818 to vote for Vodafone Warriors
6. Txt Sm6 to 818 to vote for Richie McCaw
7. Txt Sm7 to 818 to vote for Lydia Ko
8. Txt Sm8 to 818 to vote for All Blacks
9. Txt Sm9 to 818 to vote for Ross Taylor
10. Txt Sm10 to 818 to vote for Football Ferns
Standard text fees apply on all text votes.

Everyone who votes in the Radio Sport Sporting Moment Award before midnight on the 9 February, 2016 goes in the draw to win a trip for two including flights and accommodation to the 53rd Halberg Awards at Vector Arena, Auckland on Thursday 18 February 2016. Visit to read the competition terms & conditions.

- NZ Herald

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