NZ 267-4 at tea on day 2, 1st test vs West Indies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Ross Taylor was dismissed for 93, seven runs short of his 17th test century, as New Zealand increased its first-innings lead over the West Indies to 133 runs Saturday on the second day of the first cricket test.

The 17-century milestone is a particularly personal one for Taylor as it would allow him to draw level with Martin Crowe and captain Kane Williamson, who share the New Zealand record of 17 test hundreds. Crowe, who died last year of cancer aged 53, was Taylor’s close friend, credited with being a major influence on his career, and Taylor has frequently spoken of his desire to match Crowe’s record as a tribute to his mentorship.

At tea Saturday New Zealand was 267-4 in its first innings, replying to the West Indies’ first inning of 134. Henry Nicholls, who reached his fifth test half century in a 127-run fourth wicket partnership with Taylor, was 66 not out and Mitchell Santner 12.

New Zealand lost only one wicket in each of the first two sessions on the second day as it increased its controlling position in the match. Opener Jeet Raval (42) was the only man out in the morning as New Zealand reached 181-3 after resuming at 85-2, and Taylor’s was the only wicket to fall between lunch and team when he was lost in the third over of the second new ball.

Taylor reached his 28th test half century before lunch Saturday, from 87 balls with six fours, during the early stages of his partnership with Nicholls which guided New Zealand past the West Indies’ total shortly before the first drinks break.

He was playing with increasing authority and had hit 10 boundaries when he fell lbw to Kemar Roach in the 84th over of the innings. The ball struck Taylor low, first on the front pad, then on the back and directly in front of middle stump but the umpire turned down the West Indies’ appeal having heard two noises and concluded the first was from the bat.

Roach and the West Indies referred the decision to the video referee, Bruce Oxenford of Australia, who quickly determined the ball had missed the inside edge and with the ball clearly hitting the stumps he called on compatriot Rod Tucker to reverse his decision. With Nicholls, Taylor had steered New Zealand from 109-3 on Raval’s dismissal to 236, a lead of 102.

It was only the third time that Taylor has been dismissed in the 90s in his 82-test career and the first time since he fell for 97 against Pakistan in Welington in 2009. He made his 16th century, an unbeaten 102 against Pakistan, in Hamilton in November last year.

Nicholls reached his half century from 126 balls, pulling a delivery from West Indies captain Jason Holder for his sixth four. He had faced 153 deliveries and had eight boundaries by tea.