Terrific Taylor Hits India Hard
New Zealand 328-6 (Taylor 113) v
Second Test, Bangalore, Day One
A terrific counter-attacking century from New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was enough to give his side the edge at the end of the first day of the second Test against India in Bangalore. Taylor’s innings of 113 off only 127 balls ensured that New Zealand scored at over four an over during a day that was brought to a premature conclusion by bad light and drizzle and allowed them to finish on 328 for six.
The day had begun well for Taylor when he won what is, in India, always an important toss, but looked to be following a well trodden path when his side lost Brendon McCullum in Zaheer Khan’s opening over without a run on the board. McCullum played outside the line to a ball which just held its line from over the wicket and was adjudged leg-before by the umpire.
India captain MS Dhoni had clearly learnt a lot from the first Test, which his side had won so comfortably thanks to New Zealand’s weakness against spin, and opened the bowling with Pragyan Ojha. However, Ojha didn’t enjoy the immediate success that he had in Hyderabad and was taken off after two overs.
Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill proceeded to add 63 for the second-wicket, largely against Zaheer and Umesh Yadav, with Guptill the aggressor, bringing up his half-century off just 62 balls shortly after seeing Williamson depart to the reinstated Ojha for 17. Ojha claimed his second wicket five overs later when he had Guptill mishitting a drive to Gautam Gambhir at mid-wicket and New Zealand found themselves lunching at 108 for three.
After the break, Daniel Flynn and Ross Taylor played what could be seen as the defining partnership of the day. Flynn made only 33 during the fourth-wicket partnership of 107 with Taylor, but it was enough to take New Zealand into the ascendancy for the first time in the series. He fell to R Ashwin in the 43rd over, again leg-before, but Taylor brought up his seventh career century off just 99 balls a little later.
Taylor’s knock had been full of aggression from the outset as he slog-swept Ashwin for six before the lunch interval and continued to employ the shot to great effect after the break. On top of this, he drove with assurance through cover and straight down the ground, as well as working anything a fraction too straight off his legs through square-leg. His magnificent innings was finally ended on 113 when he became Ojha’s fourth victim. He again got down to sweep, but missed and was struck plumb in front to make it 246 for five.
If India sensed a way back, then they reckoned without the doughty Kruger van Wyk and the determined Doug Bracewell, who had added an unbroken 82 for the seventh-wicket by the time the light faded. The pair ensured that New Zealand didn’t squander the advantage that Taylor had so entertainingly earnt them throughout the afternoon and will return tomorrow morning on 63 and 30 respectively.
© Cricket World 2012
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