Wellington: Dec 11, 2013
In-form Ross Taylor steadied New Zealand‘s innings after a perilous start to the second Test against the West Indies at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Wednesday, scoring an unbeaten 70 as the Black Caps reached 186 for three at tea.
The home side were in trouble early on, losing two quick wickets after being sent in to bat on a green wicket under overcast skies before Taylor led the recovery. Brendon McCullum was unbeaten on 37 at the break.
Former captain Taylor, who was dropped before he had scored, had earlier rebuilt the innings with an 88-run partnership with Kane Williamson (45) for the third wicket after New Zealand had been reduced to 24 for two.
Taylor, who scored an unbeaten double century in the first Test, has not yet been dismissed by the West Indies in the series, bringing up his 22nd Test half century by pulling a short Darren Sammy delivery to the boundary.
Williamson, returning to the New Zealand line-up after missing the Dunedin Test with a thumb injury, scored freely, reaching 45 before he flashed at a wide delivery from Tino Best to be caught by Sammy at first slip.
West Indies opening bowlers Best and Shannon Gabriel, delivering a persistent line and length to avoid the short-pitched deliveries that were their undoing in the drawn series opener, were rewarded with the early wickets of Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford.
But as they tired in the blustery northerly wind and became more wayward, the advantage of the ripe bowling conditions eased, allowing Taylor to bat freely.
Fulton was given out leg before wicket to Best with the first ball of the match and while that decision was overturned by the TV umpire, he was unable to cash in on his reprieve.
He reached six when he poked at a Sammy delivery outside off and the catch was snapped up by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
Rutherford, dropped by Sammy on eight, made only three more runs before chasing a shorter Best delivery, which he edged to Ramdin.
Best was the most successful of the West Indies bowlers with two for 47 while Sammy has one for 63
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