Close Game In Prospect After Ross Taylor Century
Australia 231 (Katich 88) & 35-0 v
New Zealand 264 (Taylor 138, Johnson 4-59)
Second Test, Seddon Park, Hamilton, day two
Ross Taylor smacked a belligerent century to hand New Zealand a first-innings lead over Australia, who then closed day two of the second and final Test in Hamilton two runs ahead having begun their second innings.
In reply to Australia's 231 on day one, Taylor smashed 138 in 104 balls to help New Zealand make 264. Australian openers Simon Katich and Shane Watson then guided their side to 35 without loss at stumps to leave the game wide open.
Taylor was at the crease early when Mathew Sinclair was bowled by Mitchell Johnson for 11 and he added 84 for the third wicket with BJ Watling (46) before cutting loose as no other batsman could do as effective a job of staying with him.
Martin Guptill (four in 21 balls), Brendon McCullum (five in 26) and Jeetan Patel (seven in 25) attempted to bat patiently while Daniel Vettori made 15 in 12 balls and Tim Southee an unbeaten 22 in 15 but Taylor's innings dominated the day's play.
He struck 19 fours and four sixes during his fifth Test century and when he was dismissed in the 58th over, he had ensured that his side were in the lead. By reaching three figures in just 81 balls, he cracked the fastest Test century by a New Zealander, beating the previous record held by Vettori, who needed 82 balls to score a century against Zimbabwe in 2005.
Johnson went on to return four for 59 while Doug Bollinger, who finally dismissed Taylor, and Ryan Harris picked up three wickets apiece.
Katich (6) and Watson (28) then erased New Zealand's lead in the 14 overs they had to bat before stumps.
Australia lead the series 1-0 after a ten-wicket win in Wellington.
© Cricket World 2010