Ross Taylor ton steadies New Zealand after early hiccups

New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor celebrates his ton against India on day one of the second Test AFP

Bengaluru: Aug 31, 2012

Skipper Ross Taylor blasted an unbeaten 112 to lead New Zealand’s fightback as the visitors reached 240 for five in their first innings at tea on the opening day of the second Test against India at Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday.

Taylor scripted his seventh Test century. He was batting on 112 made off 119 balls and his new partner Kruger van Wyk was on seven at tea.

Resuming play after lunch, both Taylor and Daniel Flynn played aggressively, dispatching loose deliveries as Indian bowlers struggled to contain the run flow.

Taylor was especially severe on Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, and to some extent Zaheer Khan, clobbering them all over the park.

In an over, the Kiwi skipper belted four boundaries in Ojha’s over and raced to his 17th Test half century which came off 46 balls.

Flynn supported his skipper to put on their first 100 runs partnership of the match. Both stitched a brisk 107 runs partnership in 113 balls taking New Zealand to a respectable score of 196 for three.

There was a setback for New Zealand when the dangerous-looking partnership was broken by Ashwin trapping Flynn for his individual score of 33 runs which was studded with six boundaries.

After the departure of Flynn, pacer Umesh Yadav and Ashwin tightened the screws and dried the run flow of the Kiwis, which resulted in losing James Franklin cheaply for eight runs.

Ojha picked his third wicket when Suresh Raina manning the midwicket area took a splendid diving catch.

At lunch, Taylor and Daniel Flynn were unbeaten on 27 and 7, respectively.

Earlier electing to bat, New Zealand got off to a poor start, losing Brendon McCullum in the second over with the visitors yet to open their account.

After McCullum’s exit, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson played watchfully and managed to accumulate runs against pacers Zaheer and Umesh Yadav.

While Guptill seemed to be in all sorts of trouble negotiating the Indian attack, which extracted some bounce in the first hour, Williamson played with confidence.

Guptill got a reprieve on 17 when Virat Kohli in the third slip failed to latch on to an outer edge off Zaheer’s bowling. He got lucky once again when he edged the ball that flew right of the diving Virender Sehwag in slips.

After New Zealand crossed 50, Guptill belted three boundaries in an over of Yadav and soon reached his half-century, carving one to third man fence. He faced 62 balls to get to fifty with eight hits to the fence.

Williamson, meanwhile, failed to sustain and got trapped LBW by Ojha, who had him for the third time in three innings on this tour. Williamson scored 17 runs off 44 balls with the help of two boundaries.

Guptill tried to attack the spinners but ended up giving a simple catch to Gautam Gambhir at midwicket off Ojha. He departed for a brisk 79-ball 53.(PTI)

Brief Scores: New Zealand 240 for 5 (Martin Guptill 53, Ross Taylor 27*; Pragyan Ojha 3 for 67, Zaheer Khan 1 for 60) vs India

Full Scorecard