Black Caps in pole position at Basin Reserve

16:05, Dec 11 2013
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Hamish Rutherford, left, and Peter Fulton of New Zealand take the field in Wellington.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Darren Sammy of the West Indies celebrates after taking the wicket of Peter Fulton.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
The Black Caps' Hamish Rutherford leaves the field after being dismissed.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Tino Best of the West Indies, centre, is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of Hamish Rutherford.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Tino Best shows his frustration after a missed opportunity to claim another New Zealand wicket.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Kirk Edwards of the West Indies attempts to field the ball.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Shannon Gabriel of the West Indies appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Ross Taylor.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Tino Best of the West Indies knocks the bails off the wickets as Kane Williamson makes his ground.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Ross Taylor bats during day one of the second test between New Zealand and the West Indies.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
The West Indies celebrate after taking the wicket of Kane Williamson.
Black Caps v West Indies - Second test
Ross Taylor of New Zealand salutes the crowd after reaching 50.
Corey Anderson
A fired-up Corey Anderson reacts after dismissing Darren Bravo.
Corey Anderson
Corey Anderson (centre) is congratulated by team-mates after sending Kirk Edwards back to the pavillion.
Tino Best
West Indies bowler Tino Best fields the ball off his own bowling.
Basin Reserve
The pitch remains covered at the Basin Reserve as rain delays the start of day two.
BJ Watling
BJ Watling plays a drive through the off-side during his innings of 65.
Black Caps
The Black Caps warm up before the West Indies innings with catching practise.
Basin Reserve scoreboard
A scoreboard attendant looks out on the action during day two.
Trent Boult
Trent Boult is clapped off the field by team-mates after taking six wickets in the West Indies' first innings.
Trent Boult
Trent Boult walks off to receive the applause after taking 10 wickets in the second test.
Tim Southee
Tim Southee dives as he attempts to field the ball off his own bowling.
Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner fist-pumps the air violently after dismissing Darren Bravo.
Kieran Powell
Trent Boult celebrates as Kieran Powell hears the death-rattle of his broken stumps.
Black Caps
An eager Black Caps slip cordon await the next delivery.

Thanks to more West Indies generosity than necessary, New Zealand felt they dodged a few grenades on day one at the Basin Reserve.

Now, in similar circumstances to a week previous in Dunedin, comes the chance to fire back some of their own in the second cricket test and push for that elusive victory. Already in credit at 307-6 after being sent in, anything in the range of 380 will be a competitive total on a pitch that offered enough for the quicks and should continue for at least another day.

"They did bowl a touch fuller but when you're inserted on a greenish wicket, we'll take six for 300 most days of the week," New Zealand centurymaker Ross Taylor said.

"Most balls did something. I wouldn't say it was nipping round corners but the odd ball kept you honest."

With an extra day's rest after their Dunedin slog, that should be enough to keep new ball duo Tim Southee and Trent Boult interested, especially if they can generate swing and utilise the extra zing and bounce on offer. This pitch can flatten out fast, though, so plenty of hard toil beckons.

Taylor summed up another head-scratching day in this series where he crafted 129, his 10th test century after being dropped on nought. Clinical and ruthless as ever, Taylor pounced on some loose offerings and endured a body blow or two in one intense over from Shannon Gabriel.

Had Kirk Edwards held the Taylor chance at third slip, off Tino Best, then the hosts were 26-3 with skipper Brendon McCullum heading out to face the music.

Instead, Taylor's drive speared to the third man boundary and he was away, never to give the tourists another look-in until some Keystone Cops moments when he was in the 120s and beginning to cramp up.

West Indies dropped four catches and their quicks missed their chance, again. It didn't go as badly awry as Dunedin day one, but again the tourists' lack of bowling depth showed.

Without Kemar Roach (shoulder), Ravi Rampaul (fitness issues) and Fidel Edwards (out of favour), there isn't a lot left to make hay from favourable grass.

Captain Darren Sammy beamed on winning the toss but it soon became a grimace. Gabriel is an imposing figure and improved markedly, emerging as the pick of the bowlers even if he waited until his 17th over to claim his first wicket when Taylor holed out to deep point. Best looked to be struggling with injury, after crashing into the advertising hoardings, and was good and bad in equal measure, while Sammy at 120kmh was battling the gluteal strain he picked up in Dunedin. It was left to the spinners to bowl in tandem and kill time for the second new ball.

New Zealand bounced back well. Peter Fulton looked out first ball before he benefited from the first use of Real-time Snicko, and umpire Paul Reiffel's lbw decision was overturned. Fulton and opening partner Hamish Rutherford soon nicked out, the latter not utilising his second life after a slips fumble.

Kane Williamson (45) looked even more composed than Taylor on return from a fractured finger, until he sparred at one nipping away.

There were other useful contributions that were thrown away too soon. McCullum (37) looked set to build another dominant stand with Taylor but departed too softly, spooning the spin of Shane Shillingford to short mid-on.

Taylor and Corey Anderson (38) added another 68 before Anderson got a fine edge on the sweep, leaving the senior man to cruise to three figures off 204 balls.

It wasn't typical dominant Taylor, but it was a lesson in composure and keeping the ball on the turf. The slog-sweep appears to almost have vanished against the red ball; instead he waited until the 80s to go aerial, over mid-on from Narsingh Deonarine's spin.

Advertisement

Ross Taylor
TON UP: Ross Taylor acknowledges the applause after scoring his second century in as many tests against the West Indies.

Fairfax Media