BANGALORE // Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, kept his promise of attacking India's spinners by smashing an entertaining hundred as the visitors reached 328 for six at the close of the first day of the second and final Test on Saturday.
Kruger van Wyk (63 not out) and Doug Bracewell (30 not out) carried on the good work after Taylor's dismissal, adding an unbeaten 82 runs for sixth wicket before bad light ended play 35 minutes early.
The 28-year-old Taylor had promised a positive approach at the Chinnaswamy Stadium after New Zealand lost 18 wickets to the Indian spinners in the first Test in Hyderabad, which the hosts won by an innings and 115 runs to go 1-0 up in the two-Test series.
New Zealand opted to bat first after Taylor won the toss and their intent was immediately clear as the batsmen attempted to put India on the backfoot.
"Ross is a class player and some of the shots he played were really special," opener Martin Guptill, who started the fireworks with a quickfire 53, told reporters.
"We had a meeting on how to go about it and about the positive intent. We executed our plans really well today."
Taylor hit 16 boundaries and two sixes and attacked the bowlers from the onset to complete his seventh Test century, and his third against India, off just 99 balls.
He slog-swept the spinners effectively, played the cut shot fiercely and added 107 runs with Daniel Flynn (33) for the fourth wicket at a breathtaking scoring rate.
Taylor and Flynn combined to add 72 runs off the first 10 overs after lunch before Flynn fell leg before to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while attempting another sweep shot.
Pragyan Ojha kept India in the hunt by picking up his fourth wicket shortly after the tea break when Taylor was also out leg before trying to sweep the left-arm spinner.
In the morning, India captain MS Dhoni handed the new ball to Ojha to capitalise on New Zealand's spin frailty but it was paceman Zaheer Khan who struck the first blow in the second over of the innings.
Opener Brendon McCullum was the first to fall for a duck when Zaheer caught him plumb in front of the stumps in his first over.
Guptill, dropped on 17 by Virat Kohli in the slips off Zaheer, went on the attack and completed his half-century, helped by eight boundaries.
The right-hander mistimed a drive against Ojha to be caught at midwicket by Gautam Gambhir.
"We have to keep up the positive intent. If we put 400-450 on the board and attack them then it's going to put some pressure on India," Guptill added.
"There is a bit of swing and seam on this wicket and if we can pick up a few wickets early on, it'll be great."
Ojha then dismissed Kane Williamson (17) leg before and also got rid of all-rounder James Franklin (8).
"It was a good first-day wicket and they were trying to be aggressive," Ojha said. "I think that was their game plan and Ross played quite well too. I think taking six wickets on this kind of a pitch was a good effort."
HOME SIDE ARE OFF THE MARK
England celebrated their first victory over South Africa this summer after half-centuries from Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Trott saw them to a four-wicket victory in the third match of the series on Friday.
Having lost the Test series 2-0 and fallen 1-0 behind after two matches of the one-day leg, England turned the tide at The Oval courtesy of Morgan’s fluent 73 and a stoic 71 from Trott.
The bowlers played their part by dismissing the tourists for 211, Ravi Bopara miserly with one wicket for 31 runs in 10 overs and James Anderson polishing off the tail to close with four for 44.
England briefly looked in bother on 64 for three but Trott played the anchor role in a dogged 125-ball innings, while Morgan added the flair with seven fours and two sixes.
Opening batsman and captain Alastair Cook said: “A lot of character was shown there. It was a really good bowling performance. You wouldn’t want to chase too many more on that wicket. It’s always nice to get a first win.”
Morgan’s knock ended with a looping caught-and-bowled to Robin Peterson with 40 still needed.
Craig Kieswetter cleared the ropes once before being run out for 14, leaving Trott to shepherd England within five runs of victory and Samit Patel was on hand to hit the winning boundary.
South Africa had got off to a promising start but after reaching 119 for two they lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out with 3.2 overs remaining.
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