Taylor celebrates amazing maiden ton
DUNEDIN, New Zealand -- Jerome Taylor played the innings of a lifetime to record his first Test century and also pull the West Indies out of trouble against New Zealand on the fourth day of the first Test at University Oval, Dunedin.
The fast bowler came to the crease with the Windies on 173-6 –- 192 behind. His superb 106 came off just 107 balls with 17 fours, most of them classy drives, and three towering sixes as the Windies made 340. At the close on Sunday evening the Black Caps were 44-2 – with Daren Powell taking two wickets in two balls.
“Words can’t quite describe how I feel. I always knew I had it in me to make a Test century and today I proved it. The coaches keep telling me I have the ability to be an allrounder and I’m taking my batting seriously and working very hard. I wanted to take it a step at a time, get a half-century first and try to move to a century. It all came at once today,” the 24-year-old said.
“It was very meaningful innings to the team and to me as an individual. I went out there with purpose and decided I had to make a difference. I decided I had to bat for the team to make sure the West Indies could not lose this match. It was opportunity to show determination and guts and I got the reward.
“I like to express myself in the middle and show my skills. I didn’t think I had to change my style because we were in trouble. I felt I should back myself and believe in myself. Making a Test century is everyone’s dream and I have fulfilled that dream. I hope it is the first of many to come,” added Taylor, who was recently named Cricketer of the Year in Jamaica.
It was Taylor’s first century in any form of cricket. His previous best in first-class was 40 and his Test-best before Sunday was 31. He added a brilliant partnership of 173 in just over two hours for the seventh wicket with ICC International Cricketer of the Year, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who made 76 from 200 balls – his 50th half-century in Tests -- before he was last man out.
“Batting with Shiv gave me a lot of confidence. He supported me throughout and put faith in me from the start. He was in the middle talking to me and that helped me along the way. I was not thinking of the hundred, I was thinking only of occupying the crease and Shiv kept telling me just hang around and hit the bad balls. He said ‘bat and bat and bat’. The partnership was very vital,” Taylor said.