Taylor shines on good day for New Zealand

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 17:50 11/12/2013
Ross Taylor
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GOOD PARTNERSHIP: An unbroken stand of 55 between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor has the Black Caps at 79/2 at lunch.

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Ross Taylor's summer of runs continued as he punished the wayward, butter-fingered West Indies to score his 10th test century.

Taylor dominated the first day of the second test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington with 129, extricating New Zealand from a tight spot after they were sent in on a green pitch both sides were keen to bowl first on.

The hosts were 307-6 at stumps, a reasonable result after losing the toss, while the tourists blew their chance again with some wayward bowling and poor fielding, shelling four catches in all.

Taylor finally departed two overs before stumps. He was dropped on nought, a slips catch that should have been taken by Kirk Edwards off Tino Best, then received more lives on 122 and 125 as the wheels fell off for the tourists.

Still, it was Taylor's day as he backed up his 217 not out in Dunedin and became the seventh New Zealander to pass 4000 runs, in just his 52nd test. 

Now at the peak of his batting powers, Taylor moved past Stephen Fleming to outright fourth on the New Zealand test century list, behind Martin Crowe (17), John Wright (12) and Nathan Astle (11).

West Indies skipper Darren Sammy couldn't hide his grin when he called correctly for a second straight test, and the tourists certainly had their chance to expose New Zealand's middle order.

Despite Sammy's drop of Hamish Rutherford at second slip on eight, West Indies reduced New Zealand to 24-2 as both openers perished cheaply to edges. 

Peter Fulton was given out lbw by umpire Paul Reiffel off Best's first ball of the day but got a reprieve with the first use of Real-time Snicko which revealed an inside edge.

The West Indies' lack of pace bowling depth showed, again, as they largely wasted favourable conditions.

It wasn't seaming around corners but there was more bounce than Dunedin, and if the bowlers got it right there were enough chances on offer.

Shannon Gabriel was much improved, and was the pick of the bowlers even if he waited until his 17th over to claim his first wicket when Taylor slogged out. 

Best looked to be struggling with injury, after crashing into the advertising hoardings, and was wayward, while Sammy at 120kmh was also battling the gluteal strain he picked up in Dunedin.

The most intense period came when Taylor was struck a painful blow on the ribs by Gabriel in the 40s, amid a testing short-pitched over, but again there was not enough consistent pressure.

Taylor kept it largely on the ground and anchored the innings, raising 100 off 204 balls with a firm push to mid-off for one. He hit 15 boundaries in all.

Spinners Shane Shillingford and Narsingh Deonarine bowled in tandem for much of the final session until the new ball arrived.

A few other New Zealand batsmen got starts but couldn't capitalise. Kane Williamson (45) made a successful return from a fractured left thumb, until Best nipped one away.

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Captain Brendon McCullum (37) looked composed and seemed to be building an imposing stand with Taylor but departed softly, spooning a catch off Shillingford. Allrounder Corey Anderson went after the spinners before touching an edge off Shillingford, on 38. 

- Fairfax Media

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