NZ 181-3 at lunch on day 2, 1st test vs. West Indies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Ross Taylor reached an unbeaten half century as New Zealand built a 47-run first innings lead over the West Indies by lunch Saturday on the second day of the first cricket test.

Resuming at 85-3 after dismissing the West Indies for 134 in their first innings, New Zealand lost opener Jeet Raval (42) before overtaking the tourists’ score just before the first drinks break.

At lunch it was 181-3 with Taylor 66 not out – his 28th half century in tests – and Henry Nicholls 24 not out. The pair had put on 72 runs for New Zealand’s fourth wicket in just 82 minutes before the break.

The West Indies were always going struggle to defend their first innings total on a pitch which, in warm and sunny conditions, is becoming increasingly suited to batting.

Their only success came in the 10th over of the morning when Raval, who had batted watchfully for his 42 off 125 balls, received a good length ball from Kemar Roach – who had just joined the attack as the first change of the day – which seamed enough to take the outside end and carry to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.

Taylor immediately established a solid partnership with Nicholls, frequently going on the attack against the shorter delivery. He had a small amount of luck, top-edging a couple of deliveries wide of fieldsmen. But he was mostly settled, reaching his half century in 138 minutes, from 87 deliveries with six fours.

When he reached 64 he became the 26th New Zealand to surpass 10,000 first class runs.

The morning session brought New Zealand 96 runs from 26 overs for the loss of Raval’s wicket. The partnership between Taylor and Nicholls will go a long way to deciding how substantial New Zealand’s first innings lead will be as the batting to come includes allrounders Mitchell Santner and Colin de Gandhomme and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, on debut, before the bowlers Neil Wagner, Matt Henry and Trent Boult.

On Friday Wagner took career-best figures of 7-39 to wreck the West Indies first innings. After being 59-0, the tourists lost all 10 wickets for 75 runs in the face of Wagner’s accurate, short-pitched bowling.