Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Taylor became only the second New Zealand batsman to score three consecutive Test centuries
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor scored his third consecutive century, while the country’s pace attack ripped through the West Indies’ batting line-up to leave the Black Caps on the brink of victory on the third day of the third Test in Hamilton.
Despite his team being bowled out for 103 in their second innings, West Indies spinner Sunil Narine deserves credit for recording his best bowling figures of six wickets for 91 runs.
Starting out the day on 156/3, Taylor and captain Brendon McCullum managed to double their 18-run partnership before McCullum was brilliantly caught by West Indies skipper Darren Sammy in the slip region off the bowling of Narine for 12.
Corey Anderson and Taylor were able to put together a 50-run partnership before Anderson hit a delivery from Veerasammy Permaul straight to Narsingh Deonarine at deep square leg.
Anderson’s dismissal led to the collapse of New Zealand’s lower order.
But, the Black Caps were able to reach 349 before being bowled out thanks to Taylor’s 11th Test century.
With this century, Taylor became only the second New Zealand batsman, after Mark Burgess, to hit three centuries in three consecutive Test matches.
Taylor was finally dismissed on 131 off 264 deliveries, which included 16 boundaries and two sixes, when he was caught at third man off the bowling of Tino Best.
Narine wreaked havoc on the New Zealand batsmen with his six wickets, while Sammy snapped up two and Best and Permaul chipped in with one wicket apiece.
This was Narine’s second five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
With an 18-run lead in hand, the West Indies got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite was clean bowled by Trent Boult for seven.
Boult struck again just five balls later as Kieran Powell was caught by Tim Southee at third slip for a duck.
Just as if things couldn’t get any worse, Kirk Edwards was caught behind for just one run to become Boult’s third victim of the day.
Marlon Samuels only managed to score eight runs before being caught behind off the bowling of Anderson.
Following his magnificent unbeaten century in the first innings, West Indies veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul could only make 20 runs this time before Kane Williamson took a stunning catch at second slip off the bowling of Neil Wagner.
Deonarine failed to have much of an impact as he only made 13 runs before edging a delivery from Wagner to Taylor at first slip.
Just a few overs later,wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin was on his way back to the pavilion when he was given out lbw off the bowling of Boult for 18.
Ramdin was initially given not out, but McCullum decided to review it and the replays showed that the ball had not hit the bat and nor was it going over the stumps either, which led to the third umpire overturning the original decision.
Sammy smashed a quickfire 24 off 17 balls, which included six boundaries, before being caught behind off the bowling of Southee.
Just two balls later, Southee claimed his 100th Test wicket when Permaul was given out lbw.
Southee took 29 Test matches to take amass his 100 Test wickets.
Southee, 25, is also the second-youngest New Zealand bowler to take 100 Test wickets after Daniel Vettori, who accomplished the feat at the age of 21.
Southee picked up his third wicket of the over two balls later as Best was also given out lbw.
Boult was the most successful New Zealand bowler with four wickets, while Southee snapped up three, Wagner picked up two and Anderson chipped in with one.
Needing only 122 runs to win, New Zealand got off to a solid start as they made six runs off the two overs they had remaining in the day.
New Zealand will continue batting tomorrow at 10:30 local time or 21:30 GMT (previous day).