Taylor’s historic double ton drives strong NZ responseArchive
PERTH: Ross Taylor scored the first double century by a New Zealander against Australia to drive the tourists to within 49 runs of the hosts’ tally on 510 for six at the close of play on the third day of the second Test on Sunday.
The 31-year-old right-hander shared a record partnership of 265 runs with Kane Williamson, who scored 166, as the tourists finally got on the front foot after losing the first Test by 208 runs and conceding a torrent of runs at the start of the second at the WACA Ground.
Taylor’s innings was already the highest of his career and, after finishing the day on 235 not out, he could yet eclipse the 253 David Warner contributed to Australia’s first innings 559-9 declared.
Questions will be asked about the quality of the WACA wicket after more a than a thousand runs were scored in three days but Australia’s Mitchell Starc showed there was life in the track with one frightening spell of new-ball bowling.
The left-arm paceman hit the 160 kilometres per hour mark with one delivery, took a chunk out of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s bat with another and created a string of chances which all failed to go to hand.
It was the more pedestrian pace of Josh Hazlewood that broke the third-wicket partnership when Williamson toe-ended an attempted pull to Mitchell Johnson at mid-on, while Mitchell Marsh’s 130-kph effort clean bowled McCullum for 27.
Starc (2-83) did get some reward for his fiery efforts with a full toss that B.J. Watling (1) slapped to Nathan Lyon at point and Johnson (1-131) removed Doug Bracewell for 12 to claim his 311th Test wicket. That moved the 34-year-old ahead of Brett Lee and into fourth place in the list of Australian Test wicket-takers with only Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee ahead of him.
Throughout all that excitement, though, Taylor batted on assiduously and courageously through 308 balls, peppering the boundaries with 34 fours.
The partnership with Williamson, who scored his fourth century in nine innings this year, was the highest by any New Zealand pair against Australia and the ninth highest by any visiting batsmen in the country.
Resuming on 26 with New Zealand 140 for two, Taylor looked as unsettled as Williamson was assured at the other end for the first hour.
He looked more and more comfortable as the day wore on, however, and after Williamson secured his 12th Test century, the former captain pipped him with his 13th soon after lunch by cutting spinner Lyon to the third man boundary.
Passing 5,000 career Test runs on the way, Taylor brought up the double century off Starc from his 31st four with yet another of the fine cover drives that had studded his innings.
Williamson believes all three results are back on the table.
“We still are a little bit behind in this match, on the scoreboard obviously, but having to bat last could bring its challenges as well,” he told ABC radio. “It’s important we look to play well in the first session tomorrow and take it from there. It’s looking like the three results are still open which makes it an exciting game.”
Taylor’s previous eight innings this year had netted just one half century but he blew away any concerns about his future in a torrent of runs.
“He’s batting fantastically, hopefully he can come out and continue tomorrow,” Williamson added. “What an outstanding knock from Rosco, it was certainly one of his better ones.”
Williamson’s satisfaction at being part of the highest partnership by a New Zealand pair against Australia was tempered only by having been dismissed to leave Taylor to bat on without his support.
“I suppose you always want more,” he said. “It would have been nice to stick around with Ross, who was knackered at the end of the day, and it would have been nice to keep each other ticking over. It was a brilliant knock from him.”
AUSTRALIA (1st Innings) 559-9 declared (D.A. Warner 253, U.T. Khawaja 121, A. Voges 41, J.A. Burns 40; M.D. Craig 3-123).
NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings, overnight 140-2):
M.J. Guptill lbw b Starc 1 T.W.M. Latham c Smith b Lyon 36 K.S. Williamson c Johnson b Hazlewood 166 L.R.P.L. Taylor not out 235 B.B. McCullum b Marsh 27 B.J. Watling c Lyon b Starc 1 D.A.J. Bracewell c Neville b Johnson 12 M.D. Craig not out 7
EXTRAS (B-7, LB-10, W-5, NB-3) 25
TOTAL (for six wkts, 129 overs) 510
FALL OF WKTS: 1-6, 2-87, 3-352, 4-432, 5-447, 6-485.
TO BAT: T.G. Southee, M.J. Henry, T.A. Boult.
BOWLING (to-date): Starc 30-6-5-83-2; Hazlewood 27-2-98-1 (1nb); Johnson 24-2-131-1 (5w); Lyon 30-4-93-1; Marsh 15-1-73-1 (2nb); Smith 3-0-15-0.
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2015
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