By Niall Anderson at the Basin Reserve
For Ross Taylor, this latest test century has a bit more meaning than most.
Taylor's 18th test ton – achieved in the Black Caps' second test against Bangladesh today - saw him move past his mentor Martin Crowe for the second most centuries in New Zealand test history.
The 35-year-old brought up the milestone with a towering six off Taijul Islam, foregoing his traditional stuck-out tongue celebration, and soaking in the applause from the Basin Reserve crowd.
The fact he went on to raise his bat twice more on his way to 200 – his third double century in tests – was a delightful bonus, but passing the mark held by Crowe was by far the most meaningful milestone, with Taylor having been stuck on 17 test centuries since 2017.
He had passed 50 just once since, averaging 21.6 in that span, and admitted that the milestone had been playing on his mind.
"I guess 17 was such a big number since when I started playing cricket, that when I got there it was probably a little bit of a relief. Then I didn't kick on – it was probably a little bit in my subconscious, and I must admit it played on my mind for a little bit as well.
"Before this [test] I talked to our sports psychologist Pete [Sanford], and just acknowledged that it's always going to be there. It's nice now to knock it off."
His understated celebration also included a word of tribute to Crowe, who passed away in 2016.
"I just told [Crowe] I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get there."
In reaching 200, Taylor also passed Crowe's record for the most test runs scored at one New Zealand ground, having now compiled 1226 runs at the Basin Reserve.
"He was probably a bit annoyed with that one," Taylor smiled.
"There was a stage out there where I thought '[Crowe] got 299, I might get 199', so it was nice to get past that – I always love to play at the Basin and it's nice for family and friends to be here as well."
Taylor had to negotiate a testing early examination from the Bangladesh bowlers on day four, and was lucky to avoid trudging back to the pavilion on 20.
Within the space of three deliveries from Abu Jayed, Taylor was shelled at cover by Mahmudullah, then at second slip by Shadman Islam, but as Taylor sees it, it was merely the luck turning back in his favour after a fluky dismissal at the same ground late last year.
"If you had told me [that I'd score 200] at the start of the day, especially with how the first 10 overs went as well, I would have said 'You're kidding'.
"I felt really good when I played against Sri Lanka here, and got an absolute screamer at short leg second ball of the day, so I just went back to that and thought 'My luck's got to change sooner or later - let's make them pay'."
Pay, they did, with Taylor's contributions leading the Black Caps to within just seven wickets of what could be a series-clinching victory.