Taylor hits 50 as New Zealand pull away from West Indies


Wellington (AFP)

Ross Taylor cracked his 28th half century as New Zealand continued to dominate the West Indies on day two of the first Test in Wellington on Saturday.

At lunch, New Zealand were 181 for three, to lead by 47 runs with seven wickets in hand at the Basin Reserve.

Taylor, currently New Zealand's third most prolific Test batsman of all time, was singled out by the West Indies at the start of the day as their most wanted wicket.

But he was rarely troubled as he progressed to 66 off 106 deliveries at lunch with Henry Nicholls not out on 24.

It was a tidy performance by the 33-year-old Taylor, assisted in part by the comfortable pace of Jason Holder and Miguel Cummins bowling around the 130 kmh (80 mph) mark.

The introduction of Shannon Gabriel lifted the pace over the 140 kmh mark, which saw Taylor use the extra speed to bring up his 50 when he pulled a short ball to the boundary.

There was a fielder at deep square leg but he was unable to get across in time to prevent the ball racing to the fence.

New Zealand put on 96 in the morning session after resuming the day at 85 for two, and took just an hour to overhaul the West Indies' meagre 134.

The wicket to fall was that of Jeet Raval, who added 13 to his overnight 29 before he was caught behind for 42 when Kumar Roach was brought into the attack.

Roach angled his first delivery across the New Zealand opener and found a faint edge which was safely taken by Shane Dowrich.

Roach, who also took the valuable wicket on Kane Williamson for one on the first day, was the most expensive of the West Indies bowlers with figures of two for 49 off 13 overs.