ROSS TAYLOR is hoping his first-hand knowledge of Emirates Riverside will prove invaluable as he looks to help New Zealand scupper England’s hopes of making the World Cup semi-finals.

Taylor’s most recent experience of playing in England came as he lined up for Middlesex in the recent Royal London One-Day Cup competition, but back in 2010, the powerful right-hander spent a brief part of the summer playing for Durham.

He joined Durham for their T20 Cup campaign, with the highlight of his spell in the North-East coming when he bludgeoned an unbeaten 80 from just 33 balls in a 71-run win over Leicestershire at Chester-le-Street.

A repeat of that kind of display today, and England could be in trouble, with Taylor determined to help New Zealand get back on track after suffering back-to-back defeats to Pakistan and Australia.

“It feels like a long time ago when I was here,” said Taylor, who notched up his 400th international appearance earlier in the tournament. “Durham was about nine years ago now and a lot has happened since. I’ve got very fond memories of my time with Durham though – they’re lovely people up here.

“Maybe it’ll help (that he has played at Chester-le-Street), but every time we’ve played against England in the last few years, they’ve been great series. They’ve nearly always come right down to the wire. It’s another big game coming up, and hopefully we’ll be right up for it. I’m sure we will be.”

Four years ago, Taylor made 47 as New Zealand suffered a three-wicket defeat to England in an ODI series decider at Riverside.

The match was rain-affected, with England achieving their revised Duckworth-Lewis target with six balls to spare after the Black Caps made 283-9.

Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 83 was the key to England’s victory on that occasion, and with the Yorkshireman having rediscovered his form with a century against India on Sunday, Taylor is anticipating more big scoring today.

The 35-year-old watched Monday’s high-scoring encounter between Sri Lanka and West Indies, and sees no reason why both of today’s teams should not be targeting totals in excess of 300.

“It’s been nice to actually get to see the wicket,” he said. “The last two times we’ve played, we haven’t been able to do that before the game.

“I think it’s going to be a good wicket. We saw Sri Lanka against West Indies – 300 against 300 – so you’ve got expect that scores of 300 are probably out there again. But both teams have very good bowling line-ups so you can expect a good competition between the sides.”

Unlike England, New Zealand will almost certainly qualify for the semi-finals no matter what happens in their final group game, but with much of his side’s early momentum having dissipated, Taylor concedes it is important to head into the last four on the back of a positive result.

“You want to win every game you play,” he said. “But in a competition like the World Cup, momentum is always important. The most important thing is just getting to the semi-finals – once you’re there, then you can focus on your next game. But it would obviously be better to finish the group stage with a win.”