Cricket: Black Caps take firm grip on first test

By David Leggat

Ross Taylor acknowledges the crowd after scoring his century today. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Taylor acknowledges the crowd after scoring his century today. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand took a firm grip on the opening test against the West Indies at University Oval today.

Having been sent in, the hosts were 367 for three at stumps, with captain Brendon McCullum on 109 and Ross Taylor on 103. Their stand is worth 182, seven runs behind the record for a fourth wicket stand against the West Indies, set by Mathew Sinclair and Nathan Astle in Wellington in 1999.

The day belonged almost exclusively to New Zealand.

The West Indies bowled poorly, wasted first use of the ball on a pitch which did hold some assistance and the situation slipped further away as the day wore on.

Earlier Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford both made 60s as they shared a 95-run opening stand, and Aaron Redmond made it to 20 before he got a leading edge to a ball from the hard-working Tino Best.

For the rest of the day it was all Taylor and McCullum, who had personal contest to get to three figures first. McCullum won it, just.

Under heat with a run of low scores and with a persistent back injury adding discomfort, McCullum seized the moment impressively. His seventh test century came off 101 balls, with 13 fours and three sixes.

Taylor's ninth 100 arrived soon after, off 150 balls with 13 fours.

There was a wicket apiece for Best, captain Darren Sammy and offspinner Shane Shillingford.

- NZ Herald

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