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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Taylor's quickfire century lifts NZ on Day 1

Taylor's quickfire century lifts NZ on Day 1

Last updated on: August 31, 2012 16:53 IST

Captain Ross Taylor led from the front with a blazing century as New Zealand showed great fighting spirit to recover from early jolts in the second Test, in Bangalore, on Friday.

Taylor notched up his seventh Test century as he smashed 113 to pull his team out of trouble and guide the Kiwis to a respectable 328 for six on the opening day before bad light stopped play at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

It was a vastly improved batting display by the Kiwis who were bundled out cheaply in both the innings in the massive
defeat in the first Test in Hyderabad.

Taylor showed the way as he led from the front by being more aggressive against the spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha who could not extract much turn from the first day track.

Wicketkeeper batsman Kruger van Wyk (63) and Doug Bracewell (30) were at the crease at stumps on a day which saw a record score being put up by a visiting team on day one at this stadium.

Opener Martin Guptill (53) and Daniel Flynn (33) were the other notable contributors for the Kiwis who showed a greater application against the spinners after deciding to bat first in overcast conditions.

The visitors were at a shaky 89 for three at one stage before Taylor and Flynn resurrected the innings with a 107-run
fourth wicket partnership.

Taylor, who failed in both the innings in Hyderabad, unleashed a flurry of strokes as the runs came at a brisk pace
right through the day. Taylor clobbered 16 boundaries and two sixes in his 127-ball knock.

Pragyan Ojha was the pick of the Indian bowlers on day one by taking four wickets for 90 runs while Zaheer Khan and
Ashwin chipped in with a wicket each.

- Scorecard | Live updates from day 1

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 pacers, 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 at first slip.

After New Zealand crossed the 50-run mark, Guptill belted three boundaries in an over off 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, was trapped leg before wicket 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.

Taylor came out with an attacking intent and took on the Indian spinners from the outset, using the sweep shot to good effect.

The Kiwi skipper belted four boundaries in a single over from Ojha to race 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 leg before wicket for 33.

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.

Ojha picked his third wicket when Suresh Raina took a splendid diving catch at midwicket to send back Franklin.

Taylor kept attacking and brought up his century from 99 balls as he cut a short ball from Ojha behind point, in the 54th over. In the same over, he lofted Ojha over the cover region for a six. But he fell soon after the tea break when he tried to sweep Ojha but missed and was trapped in front of the stumps.

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