New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd Test, Wellington, 1st day December 11, 2013

Taylor century punishes sloppy WI


New Zealand 307 for 6 (Taylor 129) v West Indies
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

West Indies had the chance to dismiss Ross Taylor for the first time in the series off his fifth ball in Wellington. Kirk Edwards put him down at third slip off Tino Best, though. Taylor would have been gone for a duck, and New Zealand would have been 26 for 3. By the time he finally fell in the 88th over, Taylor had made his tenth Test hundred, gone past 4000 career Test runs and tallied 362 runs for the series. In half-century partnerships each with Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson, Taylor also carried New Zealand to 307 for 6 after they had been put in on a grassy Basin Reserve pitch.

All three of Taylor's dismissed partners scored briskly without any difficulties, but none of them managed more than 45, all falling against the run of play attempting more strokes. Taylor tightened up after the reprieve. He did not fall behind his partners in run-making but cut out risks till he reached his hundred, unless the ball was too short or too full. West Indies, hampered again by the inconsistency of their fast bowlers, bowled 31 consecutive overs of spin, but Taylor wasn't to be enticed into a mistake. He slowed down, reached the century in the final over before the second new ball, and cut loose thereafter. West Indies were to drop him again on 122, this time Best himself the culprit at fine leg, before Shane Shillingford dived at deep point to limit the damage from the first drop to 129.

Darren Sammy had chuckled as soon as he won the toss but his fast bowlers could not summon the consistent control required to fully exploit the pace, seam and carry in the wicket. The skies were overcast before the start but sunlight gradually increased till the ground was brightly lit. The wicket did not turn out to be as bowler-friendly as was expected. However, there was sufficient help on offer for the quicks, especially from a fuller length, but West Indies' favoured length was much shorter.

They did dismiss Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford cheaply, but frittered away the pressure soon, unable to stop the flow of runs. Sammy was guilty of dropping Rutherford in the slips off Shannon Gabriel, but the batsman wasn't able to make much of the reprieve.

New Zealand were in trouble at 24 for 2, but West Indies soon started tailing into the pads when they tried the fuller lengths and Taylor clipped them through midwicket. Short-and-wide balls also started appearing now and then, and both Taylor and Williamson ensured they were put away.

Williamson, returning after recovering from his thumb injury, looked solid from the start, playing late and swaying inside the line of bouncers early. Best let it slip further after the Taylor drop, digging it short and wide and was cut over the third-man boundary for six by Williamson.

Williamson came out still more positive after lunch, driving, cutting and pulling boundaries. But in trying to force a back-foot punch off Best, he edged one on 45 and this time, Sammy held on at second slip. Although the stand was worth 88, New Zealand were still only 112.

McCullum's arrival ensured the runs kept coming. McCullum scored in his usual busy manner, refusing to keep his cuts and pulls down but also hitting the gaps, even if he hit the odd stroke perilously close to a fielder. With Taylor in complete control at the other end, West Indies weren't able to stop the batsmen from frequently turning the strike over. By tea, the stand had progressed to 74, but McCullum was to go soon after the break, stabbing Narsingh Deonarine to midwicket.

Corey Anderson arrived to take on the spinners with powerful cuts, sweeps and lofted hits down the ground. He had motored to 38 when he under-edged a sweep onto pad and there on to silly point off Shillingford, just before the second new ball arrived.

Taylor, who'd nudged his way around against the spinners, drove Best 's first delivery with the new ball straight past the bowler for four. BJ Watling batted safely for stumps at the other end, and New Zealand would have ended even stronger had a tired Taylor not thrown his bat at everything.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tanveer on December 12, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    West Indies used to be my favorite team after India. We used to be in awe of their great bowling attack that used to demolish most batting line-ups. What happened to WI. Their bowling is the worst among top 8.Now they cannot say there is no money in cricket cause they sure can make some big money in T-20 and IPL. Why have not the bowling legends like holding, garner, marshall, roberts, ambrose, walsh etc etc done anything to inspire young talent?

  • ESPN on December 11, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    How is sodhi not 8

  • harvey on December 11, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    Lovely start to the day by Best setting the tone for us, and right on cue, Gabriel starts with a loose ball. Sammy and Gibson believe in these two, said so before the match. Absolutely lovely.

  • paul on December 11, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    Geez if I was Taylor, I would also be spending as long as I could out in the middle instead of sitting around in the hut being schooled by our coach. This whole set up is a total joke, except the only one laughing is Taylor. Those in charge of last years coo should be hanging their heads in shame.

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    I'm sorry your argument makes no sense. You have cancelled out Taylor's best two scores not as captain and then said I think he averaged more as captain. That's like canceling out Australia's last two tests and saying they haven't shown improvement . Can't go canceling performances to back up a limp argument mate. Here's the stats Taylor as captain averaged 41.3 and since not being captain 68. You need facts to support your arguments .

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    Too many runs given away on the legside. These WI bowlers are so dumb, they cant even keep the ball on the off stump, stupid bowling!

  • William on December 11, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    for those questioning the ticket pricing you can get full 5 day passes for $43 if you prebook less than $10 per day. i have mine for the Hamilton test

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    wats up with the messed up headline?? are west indies players the only players to drop catches. every thing with west indies u seeing some terrible headline all teams have their down periods look at england. not seeing any body writing crap about england..look at wat SA did to indea . nobody writing crap about indea!!!???

  • ESPN on December 11, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    And it doesn't matter if it was the last two tests he's only not been captain for a year!!

  • ESPN on December 11, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    And I'm pretty sure Taylor averaged 70 odd in bangladesh .. Not the last two tests....

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