Wellington: Ross Taylor was in the best mindset of his life after he scored his 10th Test century and surpassed 4,000 career runs to anchor New Zealand's 307 for six against the West Indies on Wednesday.
Taylor, who scored a career-best 217 not out in the drawn first Test at University Oval in Dunedin, was caught at deep backward point for 129 shortly before the close of the first day's play of the second Test.
His dismissal with 14 balls remaining in the day's play meant New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling (eight) and pace bowler Tim Southee (nine) will today.
Taylor had come to the wicket with New Zealand in deep trouble at 24 for two after being asked to bat on the green Basin Reserve pitch by West Indies captain Darren Sammy.
The 29-year-old, who was dropped on nought, adopted the same approach that took him to his first test double century last week and patiently worked the ball around to share in important partnerships throughout the day.
"I think I'm in the best mindset that I've ever been in," Taylor told reporters. It's probably a little cliched saying 'play in the now' but it's working for me at the moment," he added. "I just try to keep the same tempo the whole time."
New Zealand could have easily collapsed early when Taylor was dropped by Kirk Edwards at second slip without scoring and with the hosts on 26 for two, but the middle order combined to put on 233 runs to guide their side to a slim advantage. Despite their important partnerships, they would be kicking themselves for getting out when bigger scores were on offer.
Kane Williamson was dismissed for 45, captain Brendon McCullum for 37 and all-rounder Corey Anderson for 38, though Taylor said the pitch still had plenty of life in it if the bowlers hit the right spots.
"Most balls did something. I wouldn't say it was nipping round corners but the odd ball kept you honest," Taylor who was also dropped on 122 and 127 in his innings, added.
"Any time you get 30 or 40 you'd like to kick (on) but ... the odd ball does something and keeps you honest.
"I think there's still a little bit in there. A big first hour tomorrow (today) will set up what hopefully is a good day."