Taylor steadies West Indies in first Test

Tailender Jerome Taylor scored a career high 53 not out as West Indies moved to 253 for six in their first innings at tea on the fourth day of the opening test against New Zealand at University Oval in Dunedin on Sunday.

Taylor came in with the score at 173 for six and smashed eight fours and two towering sixes to reach his maiden first class half century.

His partnership with veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul made the game safe after two quick wickets in the session had left West Indies in some trouble.

With all of the second day and much of the third washed out because of rain, the only real chance of a result was if New Zealand, who scored 365 in their first innings, could bowl West Indies out cheaply on the fourth day.

However, some belligerent batting from captain Chris Gayle (74) and Taylor along with stubborn resistance from Chanderpaul (49 not out) and debutant Brendan Nash (23) frustrated the New Zealand attack.

West Indies began the day at 39 without loss, with Gayle starting as he left off on Saturday, smashing the ball all over the park and racing to his half century from only 68 balls.

Bogged down
Gayle lost opening partner Sewnarine Chattergoon and number three Ramnaresh Sarwan to some consistent bowling by Kyle Mills, before he threw away a century trying to pull an O’Brien ball from well outside off stump and skied a catch to James Franklin at fine leg.

Xavier Marshall (20) was caught at short leg off Daniel Vettori bringing Nash to the crease for his debut.

He started brightly before lunch, but got bogged down after the break when Mills bowled four consecutive maidens.

The pressure told as Nash played at a ball he should have left alone and edged a catch to Jesse Ryder in the gully.

Vettori struck soon after when he had wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin lbw, but not before Ramdin became the first batsman in a Test to ask the third umpire to review the decision.

After a long wait, Rudi Koertzen agreed with umpire Amiesh Saheba that the ball was just clipping leg stump and Ramdin was sent on his way.

New Zealand were pressing hard for a breakthrough to try and wrap up West Indies’ innings but Taylor had other ideas as he bludgeoned his way to a memorable half century. – Reuters

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