Sunday, 10 December, 2017

West Indies fight back after Kiwi debutant scores ton

Ross Taylor fought through some tricky periods of short-pitched bowling to pass 50 and maintain New Zealand's strong West Indies fight back after Kiwi debutant scores ton
Melissa Porter | 04 December, 2017, 08:29

The West Indies, battling to save the first Test, were 107 for one in their second innings at tea on day three, needed a further 279 runs to make New Zealand bat again.

New Zealand declared on 520-9 - a mammoth lead of 386 - thanks to a memorable debut for Tom Blundell at the Basin Reserve Sunday.

He knew it would be harder in the second innings as the wicket flattened and the Windies fought back, scoring 319.

"I thought the bowlers were exceptional to change their type of thought to play the long game, be patient with the way they operated and we saw the rewards in the second session today".

But the Windies showed signs of life courtesy of Kraigg Brathwaite (79 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (66), reaching 214-2 at the close of play.

Following the lunch, West Indies suffered a dramatic collapse and lost their last five wickets for just 33 runs in nine overs to hand the Kane Williamson-led side a big win. But he came to light with two important wickets after lunch on day four - those of wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich and captain Jason Holder who were both century-makers in the West Indies previous test against Zimbabwe.

"We just wanted to be positive. I don't think anyone was reckless at any stage", he said.

"Unfortunately we lost Kraigg at that time and I guess we never really gathered momentum afterwards".

But when he was out nine runs short of his seventh test century, the West Indies effort unraveled and after fleeting resistance from Shai Hope (37), Roston Chase (18) and Sunil Ambris (18) the second collapse of the match continued with increasing speed.

New Zealand did not face the same problem on Monday, seeing off the Windies for 319 under an hour after the lunch break - seamer Matt Henry finishing with 3-57.

"His ability to bowl that short-pitched bowling as accurately as he does, is not an easy thing to do".

There was a fielder at deep square leg but he was unable to get across in time to prevent the ball racing to the fence.

Holder put it down to "indecisive" batting which he believed would be rectified before the second and final Test starts in Hamilton on Saturday.