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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Cricket

Taylor ton guides NZ to 307-6 vs West Indies
AP
Wellington, New Zealand, December 11, 2013
First Published: 12:49 IST(11/12/2013)
Last Updated: 14:36 IST(11/12/2013)

New Zealand's Ross Taylor made the most of a second chance given to him by the West Indies and scored a century which guided the hosts to 307-6 at stumps on Wednesday on the first day of the second Test.

Taylor was dropped before he had scored, with Kirk Edwards putting down the chance at third slip and the tourists paid heavily for that mistake.

Had the chance been taken, New Zealand would have been in trouble at 26-3, but Taylor went on to make 129 and put the hosts on top after being sent in to bat.

Taylor reached his 10th Test century without offering another chance to the fielding side, although he was dropped again when on 124.

Taylor has now amassed 362 runs in his first three innings of this three-Test series while losing his wicket only once, and in the process has gone up to No. 7 in the world's batting rankings, increased his average by more than three runs and passed 4,000 Test runs.

"I got congratulated by Shivnarine Chanderpaul when I got to 100," Taylor said. "I said 'that was lucky' and he said you always need luck in this game and don't take a Test hundred for granted.

"I never get too high or too low, just get in there and play each ball on its merits and I did that until I got to about 110 and a bit of fatigue set in."

He set about recovering the New Zealand innings which was in trouble at 24-2, forming partnerships of 88 with Kane Williamson (45) for the third wicket, 77 with Brendon McCullum (37) for the fourth and 68 with Corey Anderson (38) for the fifth.

At stumps B.J. Watling was 7 not out and Tim Southee was 8 not out, having clubbed two fours from the last over of the day to push New Zealand beyond 300.

The West Indies sent New Zealand in to bat on a hard greentop and the decision appeared justified when Peter Fulton (6) and Hamish Rutherford (11) went cheaply.

Fulton was given out first ball to Best, judged lbw, but successfully challenged the decision and replays showed he edged the ball onto his pad. Rutherford was then dropped at second slip by captain Darren Sammy off Shannon Gabriel, though he went soon after.

The early dominance of the West Indies bowlers dissipated quickly, as they strayed in length, allowing New Zealand to score a lot of runs square of the wicket.

They did succeed in removing Williamson with a shorter ball - when he hovered between the back and front foot and finally slashed the ball to slip. And they worked out McCullum and Anderson with spin, which was allied to considerable bounce on the firm Basin Reserve pitch.

McCullum had begun to lunge onto the front foot at the spinners and eventually spooned a catch to Edwards at short mid-on off Narsingh Deonarine. Anderson tried to sweep Shane Shillingford and edged the ball onto his pad, then to Kieran Powell at short leg.

Taylor began to show signs of tiredness later in his innings and when the new ball was taken, 10 overs from stumps, he began to play with more abandon than at any stage in the series. After being dropped by Best, he slashed a Gabriel delivery to deep backward points where Shillingford took a superb catch.


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