Ross Taylor’s first Test double century helped New Zealand to 609 for nine declared before his bowlers reduced West Indies to 67 for two as the hosts took firm control on day Two of the first Test in Dunedin on Wednesday.
Taylor produced a controlled 217 not out and was involved in a string of productive partnerships to push New Zealand past 600 for just the fourth time in their Test history.
It was their highest score against West Indies,surpassing the 543 for three the visiting team 1972 team scored in Guyana,and the highest Test score in Dunedin,eclipsing the 586 for seven New Zealand made against Sri Lanka in 1997.
I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,maybe tonight it will, Taylor,whose previous best score was an unbeaten 154 not out against England in Manchester in 2008,told Radio Sport. I think my state of mind out there I was just trying to bat the same tempo,be pretty relaxed and play as straight as possible.
I actually feel like I’m still batting out there so hopefully it will sink in a bit more tonight.
After the declaration,Trent Boult had Kirk Edwards caught at second slip by Peter Fulton for a duck before Tim Southee dismissed Kieran Powell caught behind for seven to reduce the tourists to 24 for two.
Darren Bravo (37 not out) and Marlon Samuels (14 not out) combined to settle the innings and guide their side to the close,albeit 542 runs in arrears.
Taylor curbed his typically attacking instincts on Wednesday against a bowling attack far more disciplined than they had been on day one. Such was Taylor’s control at the crease,he did not hit a six in his entire 317-ball,491-minute innings. The 29-year-old said he had never batted better for his country.
I think probably Manchester comes close to it, Taylor added. Both innings I didn’t feel great leading into it and I had to exorcise some of those demons. Mentally,I think the way I structured it,it was my best innings.
The largest of Taylors partnerships was 195 with captain Brendon McCullum (113) a New Zealand record for the fourth wicket against West Indies,while being involved in four other partnerships of more than 60.
The hosts had resumed the day’s play on 367 for three a little after Taylor and McCullum had completed centuries.
McCullum was bowled by a Darren Sammy delivery that nipped back and hit off stump to leave the hosts 380 for four,before Corey Anderson was caught behind for a duck before lunch.
Taylor and Watling (41) then shared in an 84-run partnership before the wicketkeeper was well caught by Edwards at second slip off Tino Best at 469 for six.
Taylor hit his 23rd boundary to move to 199 before paddling the ball behind square for three runs to reach the milestone and prompt a standing ovation from the crowd at University Oval.
He became only the 13th New Zealand batsman to score a double century in Test cricket.
BRIEF SCORES: New Zealand 609/9 dec. in 153.1 ov. (Taylor 217*,McCullum 113,Best 3/148); West Indies 67/2 in 24 ov. (Bravo 37*,Samuels 14*,Boult 1/7)