Taylor century gives NZ advantage in Test

Ross Taylor’s second Test century ensured New Zealand recovered from two run outs in three balls to reach lunch on 322 for six against England on day two of the second Test at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Taylor, in his seventh Test and who made his maiden century against England in March, reached 115 from 141 balls at the interval along with number nine Kyle Mills, on a Test best 46 and who was frustrating England after the double strike.

Taylor was almost caught at second slip in the over before lunch off James Anderson but Paul Collingwood could only manage a fingertip on the ball before it went to the boundary. New Zealand amassed 120 runs in the morning session for two wickets.

Daniel Flynn, who retired hurt after he was hit in the mouth by an Anderson bouncer on Friday afternoon, was padded up to bat next and was expected to use a runner.

New Zealand batted fluently on Saturday and by lunch had achieved a healthy scoring rate of about four runs per over.

England’s bowling lacked penetration and Anderson, who was their most threatening bowler on Friday, did not bowl for the first 90 minutes.

Run out

Overnight batsman Jacob Oram, when on 34, was dropped by Anderson off spinner Monty Panesar at mid-on with the score at 245 for four. Oram misjudged a lofted drive and Anderson also misjudged the catch before the ball went for four.

Oram, though, was run out in the next over.

Taylor played the ball towards backward point and the batsmen set off for a quick single before hesitation allowed Alastair Cook an opportunity to eye a run out. His direct throw at the stumps was enough to dismiss Oram, who ran lethargically.

The big-hitting Oram, who scored a century in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, put on 113 with Taylor in just 145 deliveries.

Captain Daniel Vettori lasted two balls before departing bizarrely.

After playing a leg glance, he sprinted back for a second run and although he was over the batting crease by about 12 inches both feet and his bat were in mid-air when wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose broke the stumps after Panesar’s throw.

Vettori looked stunned but his disappointment would have been reduced with the subsequent batting effort of Mills, who had cracked seven boundaries by lunch. – Reuters

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