Taylor, Ryder punish India

Twin tons give New Zealand the upper hand at McLean Park

Last Updated: 27/03/09 12:17pm

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Taylor (left) and Ryder: double century partnership

Taylor (left) and Ryder: double century partnership

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Second Test
Napier
New Zealand 351-4 (L R P L Taylor 151, J D Ryder 137 no) v India

Centuries from Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder powered New Zealand to 351-4 on the opening day of the second Test against India in Napier.

The Black Caps were reduced to 23-3 after opting to bat first but Taylor and Ryder turned things around with a 271-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Taylor smashed 26 fours and a six before holing out for a hugely entertaining 151 - three shy of his highest Test score - during the evening session.

But James Franklin (26no) saw the hosts safely through to the close in the company of Ryder, who finished unbeaten on 137.

Franklin, however, was lucky to still be there after surviving a caught behind appeal and seeing Yuvraj Singh drop him in the slips.

Yuvraj nightmare

Yuvraj had a bad day in the field as he also dropped Taylor on four - a miss that turned out to be very costly.

India suffered a setback before the toss when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni withdrew due to a back problem.

But they were bouyed in the first hour by dismissing New Zealand's top three of Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill and Jamie How - in for the injured Daniel Flynn.

McIntosh was unlucky to be given caught behind off Ishant Sharma (1-61) for 12 but How (1) could have no complaints as he edged a yorker from Zaheer Khan on to his stumps.

Zaheer struck again at the start of his next over when Guptill (8) tried to fend off a bouncer only to see the ball fly to gully where Virender Sehwag, taking over the captaincy duties from Dhoni, dived forward to hold the catch.

Ryder saw off the hat-trick ball and he and Taylor guided the Black Caps to 98-3 by lunch.

In the fourth over after the interval Taylor brought up his half-century with his 11th boundary and three overs later Ryder joined him when he struck a four through the covers.

The pair continued to pile the pressure on the Indian bowlers waiting to pick off the bad ball, and some that were not so bad either, and also rotated the strike well to keep the runs flowing.

Taylor moved quickly into the 90s with three successive boundaries off left-arm spinner Yuvraj (0-14), although the last one was somewhat streaky as he was dropped by Rahul Dravid at first slip.

Nervous

He then faced a nervous wait on 99, surviving an lbw shout from off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and almost causing Ryder to be run out after opting for a quick single only to change his mind and send his partner back.

But he finally cut loose with a drive off Zaheer in the final over before tea to reach his third Test century.

His 18th four helped him to 103 in 151 balls before he hit another two deliveries to the rope to get New Zealand to 233-3 at tea.

Ryder's second successive century came in equally expansive fashion early in the final session when he steered a full, wide Zaheer (2-94) delivery through cover point to bring up the landmark from 147 balls - in the process he became the first New Zealander since Nathan Astle in 1996 to score back-to-back tons in Tests.

Taylor reached 150 from 203 balls but in the next over holed out to Yuvraj in the deep off Harbhajan (1-61) having added just one more run to his tally.

His dismissal brought an end to New Zealand's record stand for any wicket against India, surpassing the 231 that opening pair Mark Richardson and Lou Vincent shared in Mohali in October 2003.

Ryder and Franklin, who rode his luck, saw New Zealand to stumps.

India lead the three-match series 1-0 following their 10-wicket victory in the opening Test in Hamilton.

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