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Fiji Time: 11:35 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Taylor leads New Zealand recovery in Hamilton

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

HAMILTON - Ross Taylor's stunning summer with the bat shows no sign of abating after he made an unbeaten 56 to help steer New Zealand to safety after two days of the third Test against the West Indies in Hamilton.

The former national captain already has a double century and a century to his name in this series and helped steady the ship with the home side replying to the tourists' first innings of 367.

They were 3-156 at the close of play.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul made an unbeaten 122 after the West Indies resumed on 6-289.

Taylor joined Kane Williamson after both home openers went cheaply on a slow Seddon Park wicket offering some help to the spinners.

The pair added 95 as the hosts, under scoreboard pressure for the first time in the series that they lead 1-0, stumbled early on.

The Black Caps needed the stand after West Indies captain Darren Sammy celebrated his 30th birthday by pulling off two brilliant catches to reduce them to 2-43.

Opening the bowling, he stooped on his follow-through to pick up a low return catch to remove Hamish Rutherford, and then used his sharp reflexes at leg slip to end Peter Fulton's watchful 91-minute stay.

It was off-spinner Sunil Narine's third delivery and he posed the biggest threat, occasionally bamboozling both Williamson and Taylor with his variation that turns away from the right-hander.

"He's very tough to pick. You can see it at times, but he bowls at such a pace that it's very hard to adjust your shot," said Williamson.

Narine trapped Williamson lbw for 58 before stumps after a review upheld the decision by umpire Nigel Llong.

Taylor himself survived an early lbw shout that was referred to the third umpire and Brendon McCullum was with him on 11 at the end.

Taylor now has 418 runs against the tourists and has only been dismissed once and sits behind Andrew Jones (513) in terms of runs by a New Zealander in a three-Test series.

Earlier, the tourists added 60 runs for the final two wickets with Chanderpaul to take their score beyond 350.

Veerasammy Permaul and Tino Best both swung lustily with Best adding a record 35-run stand for the final wicket against New Zealand.

The 39-year-old Chanderpaul, who became the sixth highest run-scorer in Test cricket when he reached 98, was there at the end after a six-hour innings.

Tim Southee finished with the best figures of 4-79 and now needs just two more wickets to reach 100 Test victims.