Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor has produced one of the most heroic innings in New Zealand's one-day international history to level the series 2-2 against England in Dunedin.

The hosts chased a record 336 in the seventh ODI at the ground to win by five wickets with three balls to spare. Henry Nicholls pumped a six behind square off Tom Curran to complete the result.

A day shy of his 34th birthday, Taylor eclipsed his career-best 131 not out made against Pakistan during the 2011 World Cup in Sri Lanka. That innings came on his 27th birthday.

Taylor came to the wicket in a crisis at 2-2 in the third over and finished with an ODI career best 181 not out off 147 balls - the highest score at the ground.

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As it happened: Black Caps hunt down England

The No.4 appeared to suffer a recurrence of his right thigh injury as he stretched to avoid getting run out on 109. Yet he stood manfully and schooled the England bowlers for 72 more runs off 41 balls amid hobbling between the wickets and getting medical treatment in the no-runner era.

He may not get to celebrate his birthday – and the innings – in the manner he'd planned today.

"I had a nice bottle of wine in my suitcase which I was going to open. Damn it, I don't think I can have it if I want to play on Saturday."

With the help of Kane Williamson (45 from 48 balls), Tom Latham (71 from 67) and Colin de Grandhomme (23 from 12 balls), Taylor hauled them New Zealand back into the contest in the manner only a player of 204 matches' experience can. The fourth-wicket partnership of 187 runs from 215 balls with Latham eclipsed the 178-run record they had set between the countries in the first match at Hamilton.

Taylor savaged cuts, attacked pulls and worked singles to give the innings a rhythm Stevie Wonder would be proud of on his way to his 19th ODI century.

It was the sort of spectacle which stopped scarfies drinking. Hell, it would stop anybody drinking. Arrests and evictions from the ground ceased forthwith. Taylor's innings mainlined euphoria into the veins of New Zealand sports fans as he hammered the series into a Saturday decider.

Taylor was asked whether the innings was his best.

"We won chasing, so being there at the end means it'd have to be up there.

"You can't win the game in the first 10 overs, you've just got to give yourself a chance. On New Zealand grounds you can catch up at end on small boundaries.

"Once we started to get to 160-170 I thought if we can bat well here we'll give ourselves a chance. We were ahead of the game when Colin came out with his cameo, meaning we wouldn't have to take risks in overs 43-45."

Ross Taylor reflects on his man of the match performance and how much he wants to play the final ODI v England, even forgoing a nice bottle of wine. Video / Andrew Alderson

Taylor felt the previous injury was re-activated.

"I felt it when I dived. It was a similar pain to what happened at the Mt. I started cramping up and couldn't run as many twos."

New Zealand had not lost any of their eight tests and six ODIs since the University Oval came into international operation 10 years ago. Add another victorious chapter to the mix.

Sloppy fielding and a struggle for line-and-length left New Zealand stagnant early in England's innings.

At the end of the 37th over the tourists were 256 for one.

Breaking the ground record score of 360 for five, set by New Zealand against Sri Lanka in January 2015, seemed a fait accompli.

A child in the crowd on the fine leg boundary bellowed: "C'mon New Zealand, you gotta believe".

Until that point, that voice had offered annoying armchair-fan cliches, but you could not argue with the sentiment of that message.

Suddenly Jonny Bairstow exited to Colin Munro for 138 off 106 balls, his third ODI century. That ended a partnership of 190 with Joe Root, the highest for England's second wicket against New Zealand in the format, and third-equal highest overall.

Cue the tumble - six wickets for 21 runs in 38 balls - as England's hitters suffered paralysis, particularly against Ish Sodhi. The leg spinner took career-best ODI figures of four for 53.

"All four of us [specialist batsmen] who got out for very little were gutted because a hell of a lot of work had been done to get us to that position," England captain Eoin Morgan said.

England "stumbled" to 335 for nine.

Sodhi took the initial wicket of Jason Roy for 42 from 41 balls in the 11th over with a wicket-maiden to start his spell. However, Root picked up the baton, farming 102 from 101 balls as part of his 11th ODI century.

Jos Buttler (caught-and-bowled for a two-ball duck), Ben Stokes (slog-sweeping with his nude bat to Nicholls at deep square leg for one) and Moeen Ali (misjudging a googly on three and skying it to Tim Southee running in from long off) were no match for Sodhi's guile.

Accomplices Colin Munro and Trent Boult scythed into England's order with the removal of Morgan and Chris Woakes respectively.

The turnaround was extraordinary, given England had been barrelling towards 400.

The visitors seized the initiative on a crisp autumn morning. Roy, Bairstow and Root offered a masterclass bisecting the field and bruising strokes to the fence as they carved through the hosts' token early resistance.

Poor fielding helped, as did bowlers struggling to find line and length.

Santner dropped Bairstow on 74 at extra cover, but overthrows and harbour bridges provided the most damage.

Fortunately for New Zealand, nothing could stop Luteru's recovery which left the hosts unbeaten since the venue came into international operation 10 years ago.