Taylor inspires for Black Caps

New Zealand skipper hits confident century to guide his side to 328-6 on opening day of the second Test against India.

NZ recovered from an early setback to end the first day comfortably at Hyderabad before play was stopped due to bad light [Reuters]
NZ recovered from an early setback to end the first day comfortably at Hyderabad before play was stopped due to bad light [Reuters]

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor struck a fluent century on Friday to help New Zealand reach 328-6 in their first innings on the opening day of the second Test against India.

Taylor struck 16 fours and two sixes during his 127-ball knock as the resurgent visiting side, who trail the two-Test series 1-0, batted confidently after deciding to take first strike at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Kruger van Wyk (63) and Doug Bracewell (30) were the not out batsman when play had to be stopped due to bad light with 8.3 of the day’s allotted overs remaining.

Strong performance

Taylor played positively against both spin and pace bowling to complete his seventh Test hundred in 41 Tests. It was his third ton against India and he dominated the bowling until he was trapped leg-before wicket by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who was the most successful bowler for India with 4-90.

Taylor built a 107-run partnership with Daniel Flynn (33) as the visiting side called the shots in the second session, in which they plundered 132 runs.

Taylor and Flynn put on New Zealand’s best fourth-wicket partnership in India, which ended when Flynn went for a sweep shot only to be trapped leg-before wicket to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

First day scorecard

New Zealand first innings


M Guptill c Gambhir b Ojha 53
B McCullum lbw b Zaheer 0
K Williamson lbw b Ojha 17
R Taylor lbw b Ojha 113
D Flynn lbw b Ashwin 33
J Franklin c Raina b Ojha 8
K van Wyk not out 63
D Bracewell not out 30
Extras 11
Total (six wickets; 81.3 overs) 328
Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-63 3-89 4-196 5-215 6-246

To bat: J. Patel, T. Southee, T. Boult
Bowling (to date): Ojha 27-10-90-4, Zaheer 18-2-74-1, Yadav 12.3-1-71-0, Ashwin 24-5-82-1

The skipper’s intentions were clear early on as he swept Ashwin over the square-leg boundary for a six. He then smacked four fours in an over off Ojha, who had been among the wickets in the morning session.

Taylor found the gaps with ease and reached his first century on Indian soil off only 99 deliveries.

New Zealand’s cause was helped further by Van Wyk and Bracewell, who added 82 runs for the unbroken seventh-wicket stand.

Van Wyk showed a penchant for the sweep shot as he struck a maiden half-century in his seventh Test while Bracewell was content playing the supporting role.

Ojha contribution

Earlier, Ojha had bagged two wickets in the first session and followed it with that of left-hander James Franklin in the second and that of Taylor in the final session.

Ojha, who opened the bowling despite India fielding two pacemen, bagged the important wickets of Kane Williamson and a well-set Martin Guptill to justify captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s persistence with him.

The spinner trapped Williamson leg-before wicket for 17 and followed it up with the dismissal of Guptill, who was caught by Gautam Gambhir at mid-wicket for 53.

Guptill, who was dropped by Virat Kohli at third slip off Khan when on 17, played some fine shots after the reprieve.

At one stage, he struck three fours off an over from pace bowler Umesh Yadav, all of them through the leg side. Guptill was out when he went for a pull shot, failing to read the length of the delivery.

New Zealand, who lost the first Test at Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs, are trying to avoid a second successive 2-0 series loss after having lost both Tests on a recent tour of the West Indies.

Source: AP

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