New Zealand build big lead over West Indies in second cricket test in Hamilton

A red-eyed Ross Taylor may have preferred his bat to continue to do the talking for him.

The Black Caps star broke down a little when interview on TV by Ian Smith immediately after stumps on day three of the second test against the West Indies in Hamilton on Monday.

Taylor had earlier scored his 17th test century, drawing him level with his cricketing mentor, the late Martin Crowe, and his NZ captain Kane Williamson as New Zealand's most prolific maker of tons in tests.

"There was one moment out there. He [Crowe] always said when there's a butterfly that's him. So there is a butterfly out there, when I was on about pretty good."  he said with tears in eyes.

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"Smithy and I were very close both of us [to Crowe] and we had some good nights with 'Hogan' over some red wine. Talking about my batting, and lot of it probably not positive.

"It came from a good place and I guess that's why I'm here today."

Taylor said the landmark didn't really sink in until asked about it by the former NZ test keeper.

"I thought about it a little bit last year, this year I haven't really thought about it," Taylor said.

"I said to [umpire] Bruce Oxenford out there, he said 'well batted', I said 'thank you and if you'd told me at start of my career I'd get 17 test hundreds I'd have said no chance'.

"I always saw myself as white ball player growing up."

Taylor said he was unaware he was nearing a century until late in his innings.

"It wasn't until the drinks break where we lost Waggy [Neil Wagner] and I looked at the scoreboard. I didn't know what I was on ... I never really look at my scores any time .,, any time I do I normally get out.

"But Timmy [Southee] said he had it covered. We got there in the end.

The veteran right-hander made an unbeaten 107 as NZ declared at 291-8 after late in the day at Seddon Park. That left the Windies requiring a massive 444 to win the test and level the series at 1-1. 

About the only thing in the favour of the visitors is that they were given more than two days to achieve that target, but all signs were that New Zealand should wrap up a 2-0 triumph with a day to spare. At stumps, they were already in trouble at 30-2, losing Kieran Powell (0) and Shimron Hetmyer (15).

Black Caps paceman Trent Boult - who narrowly missed snaring a hat-trick with the first ball of his second innings spell - now has five wickets in the test to give him 199 test wickets. That put the 28-year-old sixth on the all-time list of New Zealand's top test wicket-takers.

Nearest to him towards the top of the list is current team-mate Tim Southee, who has 207 scalps, with the pair both closing in on the third and fourth-placed bowlers, Chris Martin (233) and Chris Cairns (218).    

Taylor brought up his milestone during the final session with a gorgeous straight drive off Raymon Reifer and celebrated in his trademark style, with the pukana, amid the lifting of his helmet and raising of his bat, to the applause of proud team-mates and the smattering of punters on the embankment.

It was his fifth test century in his hometown of Hamilton, and his fourth overall against the Windies, with his hundred coming off 172 balls and including 10 fours - with some blazing square cuts and scorching cover drives the feature, before some powerful pulls later on.

Taylor said the milestone may have been of more interest to the media.

"I've just tried to have a bit of a focus on doing my process and batting to the situation of the game, and that's all I really wanted to do today.

"I felt a bit rushed in the first innings, so it was nice to work a little bit on that and change my technique ever so slightly, and nice to get the lead over 400 - I think that was the main focus.

"Just trying to stay a little bit more side-on and not move across my stumps as much. Trust your technique.

"Sometimes when teams are bouncing you all the time, you can have your weight a little bit more on the back foot and today I just wanted to keep it neutral - a word Hogan never liked using.

"I thought I pulled ok today.

""Nice to get the milestone, but at the same time, nice to get the lead to 440 and get those two wickets tonight."

Taylor came in at 42-2 in the first session to join Williamson, who had looked a decent prospect of notching an 18th hundred and making the test centuries record his own, before he fell for 54 when bowled by a cracking yorker off Shannon Gabriel's first ball after lunch.

After lunch, under-fire middle-order bats Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner didn't help their selection claims, but Taylor's knock and a huge first innings lead made those secondary issues.

The Windies resumed their first innings on Monday at 215-8 and were dismissed for 221. That gave the hosts a first innings lead of 152.

New Zealand's top test century-makers: 

17 - Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Crowe.

12 - John Wright, Brendon McCullum.

11 - Nathan Astle.

9 - Stephen Fleming.

New Zealand's top test wicket-takers:

431 - Sir Richard Hadlee.

361 - Daniel Vettori.

233 - Chris Martin.

218 - Chris Cairns.

207 - Tim Southee.

199 - Trent Boult.

 - Stuff