McCullum, Taylor pummel West Indies

New Zealand

The West Indies' decision to bowl first after winning the toss was followed by a lackluster performance in the field, as centurions Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor led New Zealand's dominance on day one of the first Test at the University Oval in Dunedin on Tuesday.

The West Indies' decision to bowl first after winning the toss was followed by a lackluster performance in the field, as centurions Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor led New Zealand's dominance on day one of the first Test at the University Oval in Dunedin on Tuesday.

Openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton set a solid foundation, accruing a 95-run alliance across a steady 25 overs. The recalled Aaron Redmond, returning to Test cricket after a five-year hiatus, later failed – before Taylor and McCullum tucked in handsomely.

The lanky Fulton was characteristically dogged en route to 61 from all of 145 deliveries, including 11 boundaries, while the left-handed Rutherford rekindled memories of <i>that</i> big century on debut at the same venue against England earlier this year.

The son of former Black Caps captain, Ken, the talented 24-year-old was calculated and precise for a promising 62. He and Fulton, however, will rue an individual and collective inability to reach three figures – instead obliging seamer Darren Sammy and spinner Shane Shillingford a wicket each.

Shillingford was the pick of a substandard bunch, justifying selection despite concerns over a suspect bowling action reported during the recent heavy series defeat to India in Kolkata and Mumbai.

The remainder of the visiting attack, however, were entirely shoddy. Coach Ottis Gibson, in particular, won't be impressed with fast bowler Tino Best's inability to succeed a fiery opening spell with more of the same. Instead, Best and the rest copped plenty of expense.

Taylor and McCullum were largely attacking throughout an unbroken 182-run stand inside 39 overs. The former welcomed a definitive 103 not out, while the latter cherished a flashy 109 not out – his first Test century in more than three years.

The pair struck all of 27 boundaries, with the hard-hitting McCullum striking a trio of hefty sixes too. Reverse-sweeps, aggression on the drive and flamboyance on the pull, meanwhile, were all part of a very entertaining package.

Opportunity knocked for the Windies to strike with the second new ball, only for the Decision Review System to correctly negate Best's insistence on a catch down the leg-side. Where Taylor survived, McCullum was also afforded a lifeline, as a short-pitched delivery met its mark but failed to go to hand late in the piece.

Wednesday's proceedings suggest another long day for the tourists, while the hosts will certainly target a declaration beyond 500. Demoralised on the sub-continent, skipper Darren Sammy's men – indeed – are likely to endure the same in Dunedin.

Latest