Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Cricket: Taylor carries Black Caps on day one

Black Caps captain Ross Taylor has earned a second consecutive test century.
Black Caps captain Ross Taylor has earned a second consecutive test century.

Ross Taylor looks like he is going to have one heck of a home summer of cricket.

The New Zealand No 4 carved out an impressive century on day one of the second test against the West Indies in Wellington today, which followed his unbeaten 217 in the first test in Dunedin last week.

So often known for his swashbuckling play, his previously favoured slog-sweep over mid-wicket has barely been sighted in the first two tests.

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His disciplined approach is paying off and today's century was the 10th of his career - the fourth-most by a New Zealander in tests - and he looks like a player who is in control of his game.

Taylor's century marked the first time a Kiwi batsman had followed a double hundred with another ton and it was brought up with a push to mid off for a single from the bowling of Narsingh Deonarine in the 80th over of the day.

He was eventually sent on his way just before the end of the day's play for 129 when he was caught in the deep by Shane Shillingford from the bowling of Shannon Gabriel (1-65).

New Zealand closed day one on 307-6 with Tim Southee unbeaten at the crease on nine, while BJ Watling was at the other end on eight.

Taylor, who passed 4000 career runs during his innings, watched his batting partners come and go all day as Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson all registered promising starts but couldn't kick on.

Williamson played away from his body as he tried to punch a ball through the covers after lunch but only got a healthy edge to the slip cordon to be sent on his way for 45, while McCullum endured a soft dismissal as he chipped a ball to mid-wicket from the bowling of Deonarine (1-39) for 37 shortly after the tea break.

Anderson came and went following McCullum's departure and made an entertaining 38 before he was caught in close from the spin bowling of Shillingford (1-59).

All three Kiwi batsmen who made starts enjoyed a half-century stand with Taylor but couldn't knuckle down to join the former skipper for long enough to put New Zealand in a position to make a monster first innings total like they did in Dunedin last week.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand were in a spot of bother at 24-2 following the early removal of openers Peter Fulton (six) and Hamish Rutherford (11).

With the green Basin Reserve wicket doing a little bit early on, West Indies seamers Darren Sammy (1-65) and Tino Best (2-66) accounted for an opener each and could have done even more damage but Taylor was dropped before he even got off the mark.

West Indies skipper Sammy won the toss and put New Zealand into bat and his opposite McCullum also said he would have bowled first.

SCOREBOARD

- APNZ

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