New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Dunedin, 1st day December 3, 2013

Taylor, McCullum centuries drive NZ


New Zealand 367 for 3 (Taylor 103*, McCullum 109*) v West Indies
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

McGlashan: Perfect first day for New Zealand

A power-packed double-act from New Zealand's experienced duo of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor tormented West Indies' bowlers in Dunedin after Darren Sammy, without hesitation, had chosen to field on a grassy pitch. The two batsmen brought up their long-awaited centuries and added 182 runs at frenetic pace to start New Zealand's summer in the best possible manner.

The last time Taylor scored a century - in November 2012 - he was still the captain of New Zealand, but the search for a triple-digit score in McCullum's Test stats takes one back by three years when he hit a double-century in India. That was 47 innings ago. In those three years, McCullum continued to feature in the New Zealand Test team, saw the captaincy move from Daniel Vettori to Taylor, then to himself, but despite the added responsibility, his batting form didn't show any signs of revival. Until today.

McCullum joined Taylor just before tea having seen three of New Zealand's top-order batsmen waste good starts by throwing their wickets away. He brought the customary approach in the third session, attacking anything marginally full or short or, in some cases, perfectly good balls with utter disdain to help New Zealand ransack 173 runs in the 35-over long last session. At least a boundary was hit in 18 of those overs.

Shane Shillingford, who underwent testing on his bowling action in Perth recently, was included in the XI by West Indies and he bore the brunt of McCullum's assault, giving away 39 runs off 38 balls including two sixes and four fours. With no bowler being able to exert any pressure, McCullum raced away to his seventh century in 101 balls, his brutal pull over midwicket and a back foot punch over extra cover, both off Shanon Gabriel, being the two standout shots in his innings.

Taylor maintained a good pace as well, reaching his ninth century in 150 balls, but it appeared as if he was just holding an end. His innings was laced with 13 fours, dominated by crisp drives and square cuts.

Sammy had gleefully said it was the greenest pitch he had ever seen but his bowlers were not able to extract any help from it. As the day wore on, it became a true batting surface and both batsmen took full toll. It was only the third time in 51 Tests the two added more than 100 together, the current partnership by far their best. The stand ensured New Zealand took the driving position in the Test after they were 194 for 3 at tea.

The top three batsmen also had starts, but they failed to cash in on the insipid bowling. The local boy, Rutherford, who hit 171 on debut here, had scored 62, but he fell to a brilliant one-handed catch by Narsingh Deonarine towards the boundary. Fulton had been patient during his stay 228-minute stay, bringing up his sixth fifty-plus score this year, but he was caught at slip while trying to push at a delivery away from his body. Aaron Redmond, the No.3 filling in for the injured Kane Williamson, was also caught off a leading edge early in the second session while trying to clip a short of length delivery. The bowlers did little of credit in the three dismissals.

Not much went as per the script for West Indies. The opening bowlers - Tino Best and Gabriel - struggled to find the right length. Best worked up some pace but with a shorter length, the batsmen found it easy to either play it comfortably off the back foot or sway away from the line.

Best dabbled with a fuller length briefly in his first spell, but Rutherford used those deliveries as a springboard to his innings. Best's spell in the second session was a big improvement as he hurried the batsmen. He managed to get Redmond's wicket and could have had Taylor early too as the batsman fended at a short delivery. The ball ballooned over the slip cordon and, to the bowler's chagrin, rolled over to the boundary. He bowled tirelessly, but with shorter length and no movement, he was not going to trouble the batsmen.

Gabriel, who was preferred over left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell, remained ineffective across sessions, bowling benign spells and giving away 98 runs in his 17 overs.

Sammy, playing as the third seamer, found the movement that others didn't. He stuck to one length, getting the ball to swing away slightly and managed to find the outside edge of Fulton's bat, only to see it fly past third slip. It was Sammy who finally ended Fulton's innings just after the batsman was switching to a higher gear.

However, he too proved ineffective once Taylor and McCullum got going. The onslaught meant there was no respite in the southern hemisphere for West Indies after a month of battering in the subcontinent.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Karabo Obakeng on December 4, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    @CrICkeeet__Granted, Eng won the last ashes in Eng 3-0, but I think we can all agree that the score-line flattered Eng a bit. The series was a lot closer than the score-line suggested. Were it not for (as much as it pains me to say it) Broad's and Bell's magnificence the series would have turned out differently. I think their performances masked a lot of their team mates' short-coming. Cook, Swan, Trott, Prior and Root(to a certain extend) were all rubish in that series. The first test match of the ongoing ashes served to comfirm that very fact. Canberry for me is not a test opener, Cook is still out of form, so is Trott, Prior, Root and Swan. Add to that the fact that Bresnan was out of the first test due to injury, Pieterson didn't bat as well as expected, only Broad(ouch!!) came to the party and that Aus bowled brilliantly. So, all in all, I think it had more to do with Personnel rather than the wicket.

  • Khub on December 4, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    @Joe-car, ok dear.. leave sa vs ind or nz vs wi.. what ab8 ashes? Only in a few months nothing superbly change in Aus team.. bt u see the result nd how heavily it changed in totally opposite direction.. ok u can disagree thats ur choice yar. dont knw 4 how many years u watching but um watching 4 a long tym nd clearly i can feel a poor change, specially misusing the condition too much, i always lyk 2 watch archive matches as well as live nd when i relise the condition intensity now nd then i really hurt....but i believe one day u all can understand that.. bt um afraid cricket wont b cricket then nd its too late (i gonna b the happiest person if i proved wrong).

  • Karabo Obakeng on December 4, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    @CrICkeeet__With all due respect sir/madam, I hate arguing for the sake of arguement. So, let's just agree to disagree. And I'm not quite sure what you think SA beating Ind in SA and NZ beating WI in NZ proves. An SA test team is a far superior test team to an Indian one and, by the same token, so is a NZ team to a West Indian one.

  • sherwin on December 3, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    this test will be over in 3 1/2 days. NZ should declare....they have enough for both innings of WI. WI batsmen have no chance against the swinging bowling if wagner, boult and southee....they will wreak WI

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    I'm a little confused as to when I read articles about my team, New Zealand, there are always tons of comments about India for some reason and now increasingly more about Bangladesh when neither of those teams are involved in this series. Either you guys love cricket more than anyone I know or you have way too much time on your hands because your comments have nothing even close to do with the two teams playing... I saw someone mentioning Sachin .... why???

  • harvey on December 3, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    The think tank in Windies dressing room is also confusing. Shillingford was dangerous because he could bowl the doosra, but not wanting to deflate him, they pick him sending a signal to the kiwis that all the balls will only be turning in....they would have known this before a ball was bowled. Where are your brains gentlemen? Now, with two useless first choice bowlers, it means that Sammy, who bowled decently but with little effect because of his lack of pace against good batsmen, was the only one apparently threatening. They were happy to play Shillingford quietly, knowing he would be turning in. The commentators said yesterday that during the warm up, the kiwis were most concerned with Cotterel, yet he was not picked. Best will bowl one deliver per 2 overs, no pressure. Use your brains, or listen to those in cricket who know like the retired greats who could actually do it.

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    I am always perplexed that thanks to the WI selectors, the WI starts off with a disadvantage before they take the field. Shannon Gabriel reminds me of Ishant Sharma, he need the perfect bouncy wicket but really is ineffective anywhere else. He does not swing the ball and looks like he has no idea what he is going to bowl when he runs up. I think we have waited too long for them to get this together, its time for heads to roll. Also, we should not try to meet anyones schedule, we were not ready for the India matches, but India wanted a big Sachin send off, so we sacrificed our readiness.When these other teams play us, they look for all optimal conditions to improve their chances of winning, we need to play smart cricket too. Going forward, no tests for Sammy or anyone else that is not test quality. We have plenty of options, we can see that Powell and Bravo are getting better, play Gayle only in ODIs and T20s until he retires. How could we play test without Ranpaul and Narine.

  • stewey on December 3, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Well done NZ. Good to see some decent batting.

    Hopefully the pitch offers some life for the bowlers later, and isn't just a batters paradise.

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    We need to include some young pace bowlers so they can learn and develop whoever appointed the present WI Captain did WI cricket a great injustice.we all know what he can/can't do we need more than that, we need to play him as a batsman since he is the only one who can captain (apparently) so we can play Rampaul who has shown over & over that he is our best fast bowler,I cant emagine what anyone gain by not playing him Cottrell, Holder,Roach when he is ready Cummins, pick best 4 and play them. anyone watched Mitchel Johnson in the recently concluded Aussie/England test? that's that's what we should be striving for.He is the reason Trott went home from australia

  • Garry on December 3, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    electric_loco_WAP4 oh the cricket word? Talk about delusions of grandeur! As a new Zealander The ashs mean absolutely nothing to me. If I want to watch the best of the best it would be SA vs India.

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