New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Dunedin, 2nd day

Taylor double-century sets up New Zealand

The Report by Devashish Fuloria

December 4, 2013

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

West Indies 67 for 2 (Bravo 37*, Samuels 14*, Boult 1-7) trail New Zealand 609 for 9 dec (Taylor 217*, McCullum 113, Best 3-148) by 542 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Taylor puts New Zealand in perfect position

A maiden double-century by Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand cashed in on the platform laid by the top order to declare the innings on 609 for 9 soon after tea on the second day of the Dunedin Test. Their seamers then consistently troubled the West Indies batsmen, snaffling out the openers cheaply, to leave the visitors with a tough task of saving the Test against a superior bowling attack.

New Zealand's position of ascendancy was, however, established by their batsmen, led by Taylor, after they were put in on a green pitch. All through his unbeaten 217, Taylor maintained a measured approach, keeping the lofted shots out while rotating the strike. After surviving a few nervous moments in the first session - he could have been run-out in the fifth over of the day, an edge fell short of second slip in the tenth over and a bat-pad chance flew past the short-leg fielder - he settled into his innings. Not many boundary opportunities were available with a deep point in place, so he was happy to turn the strike over in the company of BJ Watling, with whom he shared an 84-run stand.

Taylor hit only five boundaries in the first three hours - one of them, a powerful pull off Tino Best that took him past 150 - after 13 boundaries on the first day, but caught up immediately after drinks with four boundaries an over. The first ball of Shannon Gabriel's 28th over was pulled to the square leg boundary before three shots - one drive and two cuts - found the backward-point boundary, comfortably beating the fielder in every instance.

Smart stats

  • Ross Taylor's unbeaten 217 is his first double-century in Tests; his previous-highest had been 154 not out against England at Old Trafford in 2008.
  • This is the 17th double-century for New Zealand in Tests. Australia lead the way with 67, followed by England with 51.
  • Taylor averages 56.75 in home Tests; among New Zealand batsmen who've scored at least 1000 runs in home Tests, his average is the best. In away Tests, his average drops to 37.
  • The 195-run stand between Taylor and Brendon McCullum is the fifth-highest for the fourth wicket for New Zealand in Tests, and their fifth-highest for any wicket against West Indies.
  • This is only the fourth time New Zealand have scored more than 600 in a Test innings. The last time they achieved this was against India in Napier in 2009. The three previous Tests when they've scored 600-plus have all ended in draws.

New Zealand strode past 500 despite two quick wickets early in the second session. Watling scored a useful 41 off 84 deliveries before a rising delivery from Best caught the shoulder of the bat to fly into the hands of second slip and Tim Southee was dismissed in the next over, caught at first slip off a quicker delivery from Narsingh Deonarine.

Ish Sodhi, however, ensured there was not going to be a quick end to the innings with a confident 35 that included an exquisite cover drive off Best and lofted shots off the spinners. He added 76 for the eighth wicket before getting a thick leading edge back to the bowler to give Deonarine his second wicket.

West Indies showed some semblance of control bowling tighter lines on second day, despite a higher percentage of short balls. The few times they pushed the lengths up, they put doubts in the batsmen's minds. However, with Darren Sammy not being able to bowl after he picked up a hamstring niggle early in the day and the spinners being ineffective, they appeared short on resources.

Ross Taylor chops one behind point, New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Dunedin, 1st day, December 3, 2013
Ross Taylor hardly played a shot in the air during his maiden double-century © AFP

Best bowled aggressively as usual, but his preference for shorter length meant his only weapon to trouble the batsmen was his pace. He did hustle Brendon McCullum with a rising delivery on the body, which took the batsman by surprise, and resulted in a loose cut shot off the next delivery. But it was a fuller delivery in the next over by Sammy that marked the end of an aggressive innings from McCullum, who went forward to defend only to see the ball cut back through the gap between the pad and the bat to hit the off stump. McCullum had only added four to his overnight score and was out for 113.

McCullum's departure fired up West Indies and Best got an immediate reward by getting Corey Anderson caught down the leg side. In his next over, he let out a cry of disappointment as an edge off Taylor's bat landed short of Sammy at second slip. The captain had to ask the bowler to calm down.

But once the seamers tired out, the bowling attack was rendered ineffective and New Zealand picked up runs at ease, going past their previous best innings total of 543 against West Indies.

The New Zealand bowlers then showed how damaging the new ball could be by getting it to dart around. Kirk Edwards poked at an angled Trent Boult delivery after a few came in and edged it to second slip, while Kieran Powell was set up in a similar manner by Tim Southee. Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels played and missed a few, but managed to survive until the end of play with West Indies trailing by 542.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by shane-oh on (December 5, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

@ (anonymous) - I'm trying to remember what happened last time NZ played a test series in Australia...ah, there it is. Do you remember?

Posted by   on (December 5, 2013, 1:04 GMT)

Sorry to be a wet blanket to NZers her. I'm from Australia, and not parochial, but while NZ might be knocking over the WI, how would they fare against Australia, either at home or in Australia? Not well, I think.

The reason for this post is clear: NZ may be good against the West Indies, but these days anyone would. Please don't get carried away on the strength of a series against one of the poorest performing cricket nations in many years.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

It must be disappointing for Chanderpaul to continually be asked to carry the load for the WI.

What a tremendous batsman he's been for the West Indies! Yet, he seems unsung because he's rarely mentioned in the same breath as Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Matthew Hayden and all of the other batting heavyweights. Yet his average is as good as any (52), and he's scored over 11000 Test runs mostly on his own, in recent years particularly. I hope he's remembered as the outstanding batsman he really is.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

West Indies cricket is in terminal decline - the signs have been there for the past decades and it's truly amazing that some of us can talk about "progress.. in the last few years", truly mind-boggling! I have just watched 'The Sports Max Zone" (based in Jamaica) where Jeffrey Dujon pointed out that it's no point in blaming the Selectors as quite simply we just don't have the bowlers etc to replace the present crop. In short, we are just not good enough at this level for a number of reasons - many structural, that will demand deeper analysis. Yes, the players are not there!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 4, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

West Indies cricket needs to demand more money from the ICC. It is a big loss to the game to not have a quality WI cricket side.

Posted by Smash42 on (December 4, 2013, 21:34 GMT)

The WI fans shouldn't get too upset. The wicket is clearly a batting paradise and it's highly unlikely that NZ will get the WI out even once, much less twice.

Posted by Speng on (December 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

Earlier this year i saw Tino Best get a lovely wicket: bowled with an inswinging 90+ mph yorker, the seam was up and steady, beautifully positioned... too bad he's forgotten it.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

I think it's about time the West Indies selectors make way for some one with more imagination, problem though no one else will hire them, their was no planning done for the tour of India and now New Zealand, absolutely disgraceful. Tino Best means well but needs more variation to his bowling, would have like to see Shillingford and Narine playing in the same test. The team in my opinion have great ability but it's up to the selectors and coach to get the team motivated. A message to the selectors please please don't kill our cricket.

Posted by gudolerhum on (December 4, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

@Rohan I think you are correct, they are just not that good a team. Sammy out of depth, no really effective bowlers on any surface, Best is all huff and puff and showmanship. Selectors do need changing but the Board is unlikely to do so, too much "politics" involved. We have gone from insularity in the 50s and 60s to Board politics and lack of rational thinking in the 21st century.

Posted by west_indiesBoss on (December 4, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

@Sammos.. thats a pretty rash statement to make, im hugely disappointed by their recent showings as well but by that i mean, ONE tour of india, and the first 2days of this new zealand test. if you look at windies cricket progress over the last 3 years,its been good overall. and yes i am also questioning their recent poor showings, but do not be so quick to put pressure on the coaching staff, u really think a new coach is going, staff, board etc is going to magically make us whitewash india, etc.. look at the broad picture please

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