New Zealand reached stumps at 307 for 6 with BJ Watling and Tim Southee unbeaten on 8 and 9 respectively at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
Taylor was dismissed shortly before close of play for a 227-ball 129 when Shane Shillingford pulled off a diving catch. Having arrived at the crease with New Zealand in deep trouble at 24 for 2 on a green track, Taylor was dropped on nought.
Taylor then forged half-century stands with Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson to swing the match New Zealand’s way, taking the sting out of the second new ball with Watling.
After he was dropped on nought in the slips by Kirk Edwards, Taylor offered another opportunity on 122 when Tino Best dropped a catch at fine leg. That came just after Taylor had belted 13 runs off Best’s previous over. But he was rarely under pressure as he hit 15 boundaries before slashing at Shannon Gabriel and being well caught by Shillingford.
New Zealand’s cause was also helped by the inability of the West Indies strike bowlers Best and Gabriel to maintain the good line and length that saw them claim New Zealand’s openers Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford in quick succession.
Fulton, whose dismissal off the first ball was overturned on appeal, did not make the most of let-off as he poked at a Darren Sammy delivery outside off stump a few overs later and was caught behind for 6.
Williamson scored freely until he reached 45, when he was caught by Sammy in the slips. Anderson and McCullum also made solid starts before being undone. McCullum spooned a Narsingh Deonarine delivery to Edwards for 37 while Anderson fell to Shillingford for 38.
Best was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, with 2 for 66 in 14 overs while Deonarine proved the most economical with 1 for 39 in 16 overs.