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New Zealand vs West Indies: Ross Taylor hits record ton as hosts eye series sweep

Ross Taylor equalled the record for the most hundreds by a New Zealand batsman on Monday, joining his mentor, the late Martin Crowe, and current captain Kane Williamson on 17 as the hosts set West Indies a mammoth target of 444 on Day 3 of the second Test in Hamilton.

cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2017 11:53 IST
By Sacha Pisani
By Sacha Pisani
Omnisport, Hamilton
New Zealand vs West Indies,Ross Taylor,2nd Test
Ross Taylor’s record century helped New Zealand set West Indies a target of 444 on Day 3 of the second Test in Hamilton. (Twitter )

Ross Taylor celebrated a record-equalling 17th Test century for New Zealand to leave West Indies fighting to avoid a series whitewash.

Taylor joined Martin Crowe and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson atop the country’s list for hundreds after finishing 107 not out on day three in Hamilton.

The 33-year-old raised his bat during the final session of Monday’s play at Seddon Park before the hosts declared on 291-8 in their second innings – a lead of 443.

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The Kiwis – who won the series opener by an innings and 67 runs – wanted to have a crack at West Indies’ vulnerable batting line-up late in the day, having skittled the Caribbean visitors for 221 in the first innings.

And it proved to be a wise decision by Williamson as Trent Boult (1-11) claimed the wicket of opener Kieran Powell, who finished with a pair, and Shimron Hetmyer (15) fell victim to Tim Southee (1-18) following a poor shot – the Windies reaching 30-2 at stumps, still needing 414 runs to win.

New Zealand were in control upon the resumption of play on Monday, with the Windies resuming at 215-8 in response to the Black Caps’ 373.

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West Indies only added six runs to their overnight score as Boult (4-73) cleaned up the tail via Miguel Cummins (15) and Shannon Gabriel (0).

The Windies, though, made a bright start with the ball after openers Jeet Raval (4) and Tom Latham (22) fell cheaply.

Raval – who missed out on a century in the first innings – was caught and bowled by in-form paceman Cummins (3-69), while Latham was trapped lbw by debutant Raymon Reifer (1-52) as the Black Caps slumped to 42-2.

That brought Williamson (54) and Taylor together, and the pair steadied the ship, with the former bringing up his 26th Test fifty before a Cummins yorker shortly after lunch sent the skipper back to the pavilion.

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Henry Nicholls’ (5) stay at the crease was brief, dismissed by Cummins in his very next over after edging to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.

Mitchell Santner teamed up with centurion Taylor and he added 26, though he never looked comfortable after being struck in the helmet in a nervy moment.

Santner tried to get under the ball and duck from a Cummins delivery but he misjudged the length as the ball cannoned into his helmet.

Colin de Grandhomme (22) was the other notable scorer for New Zealand before he was dismissed in bizarre and confusing circumstances.

De Grandhomme was hit on the pad by Gabriel and the Windies’ appeals for lbw were turned down by umpire Rod Tucker, leading to a review and TV umpire Ian Gould instructed the on-field boss to stick with his original decision after looking at ‘Snicko’ technology.

However, Gould forgot to check ‘ball tracking’ for lbw, which showed the delivery was going on to hit the stumps just as West Indies were about to protest the not-out decision.

First Published: Dec 11, 2017 11:48 IST