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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Taylor's 235* turns Test: T2 D3

New Zealand 6/510 (129ov, Taylor 235*/308b/34x4, Williamson 166/250b/24x4, Latham 36,  McCullum 27, Starc 2/83) trail Australia 9/559dec by 49 with 4 1st inns wkts in hand: T2/3 D3/5 at WACA, Perth.

Ross Taylor batted through the day, adding 265 for the third wicket with Kane Williamson and another 158 with the middle and lower order, turning the Test, if not on its head then certainly denting Australia's hopes of victory (and exposing the error of my prediction).

After a poor first Test and a scratchy beginning on D2 Taylor played himself into form against Australia's attack,which was persistent rather than penetrative on a very flat WACA wicket. His cover driving was excellent: so many strokes timed and placed to beat the field and speed to the boundary. He gave little indication of fatigue: today was not as hot as the first two days, but he has been on the field almost throughout the match. 

Williamson continued in his First Test mode: judicious aggression with barely a false stroke. So it was surprising to see him miscue Josh Hazlewood on 166 when it looked as if he'd go on forever. At that point-  3/352- New Zealand, with a long tail, weren't out of trouble but Taylor and Brendon McCullum briskly accumulated another 80, then Taylor mustered the others to take the total beyond 500.

The pitch is still playing well so it's hard to see a result other than a draw: neither team may be inclined to take the risks which would probably accompany a full throttle pursuit of victory. 

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