Rain delays start of WI reply
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Persistent rain delayed the start to the West Indies’ first innings before tea in the second Test against New Zealand on Thursday here.
Not a ball was bowled between lunch and tea, after West Indies were frustrated by the weather and stubborn batting from the New Zealanders’ lower order before they dismissed their opponents for 441 in their first innings just before the rescheduled interval on the second day at the Basin Reserve.
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Light to moderate showers delayed the start of the day by 1 ¼ hours before wicketkeeper/batsman Bradley-John Watling took advantage of inconsistent bowling from the Windies and anchored the bottom half of the Black Caps’ batting with a resolute 65.
Tino Best was the most successful of the visitors’ bowlers, taking 4-110 from 21 overs, Shannon Gabriel grabbed 2-86 from 25.1 overs and West Indies captain Darren Sammy collected 2-92 from 25 overs, but none of them distinguished themselves or made effective use of a green-top pitch with the kind of accurate bowling to put the New Zealand batsmen under pressure.
The Windies did not have to wait too long for their first scalp, when Sammy had Tim Southee caught at deep mid-wicket for 21, essaying a pull in the fifth over of the morning period, after New Zealand resumed from their overnight total of 307 for six.
The Caribbean side met resistance however, when Ish Sodhi came to the crease and spent close to an hour with Watling, putting on 49 for the eighth wicket.
Best, who bowled the first over of the day which cost 12 before he was replaced by Sammy, was more successful when he returned for another spell with New Zealand 377 for seven.
He struck twice in his second over, when he had Sodhi caught behind for 27 trying to force a delivery through the off-side and left-hander Neil Wagner caught at second slip for a duck chasing a delivery angled across, leaving the New Zealanders 383 for nine.
But the inconsistent bowling continued to haunt West Indies and Trent Boult joined Watling to further torment them in a record last-wicket stand of 58.
Key off-spinner Shane Shillingford suffered the most with both batsmen using the slog/sweep effectively to gather runs in the vacant deep mid-wicket position, as Watling reached his 50 from 106 balls with a cut through square cover for a single and Boult indulging himself with a typical tail-ender’s slog of 38 not out that included five fours and two sixes from 27 balls in close to 45 minutes.
Shillingford should have ended the fun, when Boult, on three, slog/swept him to deep mid-wicket in his 27th over – but Best muffed the chance right in front of West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson.
Fortunately, Gabriel finally brought the flurry to a close, when he bowled Watling with a yorker a couple minutes before the interval.
The three-Test series is level 0-0, following a draw in the first Test which ended last Saturday at University Oval in Dunedin.
The Windies have lost their last two Tests at this venue, but the Black Caps have had a hard time playing in their capital city – failing to win on the last seven occasions dating back to third Test of their 2008-9 home series against India.
The visitors’ previous victory at this venue by an innings and 322 runs was under the captaincy of fast bowling legend Courtney Walsh. It was nearly two decades ago and was also the last time they won a Test – and consequently, a Test series – in this country.
NEW ZEALAND 1st Innings
(overnight 307 for six)
P. Fulton c wkpr Ramdin b *Sammy 6
H. Rutherford c wkpr Ramdin b Best 11
K. Williamson c *Sammy b Best 45
R. Taylor c Shillingford b Gabriel 129
*B. McCullum c Edwards b Deonarine 37
Corey Anderson c Powell b Shillingford 38
+B. Watling b Gabriel 65
T. Southee c Bravo b *Sammy 21
I. Sodhi c wkpr Ramdin b Best 27
N. Wagner c *Sammy b Best 0
T. Boult not out 38
Extras (b16, lb6, nb2) 24
TOTAL (all out) 441
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Fulton), 2-24 (Rutherford), 3-112 (Williamson), 4-189 (*McCullum), 5-257 (Anderson), 6-296 (Taylor), 7-334 (Southee), 8-383 (Sodhi), 9-383 (Wagner)
Bowling: Best 21-1-110-4; Gabriel 25.1-5-86-2 (nb1); *Sammy 25-3-92-2; Shillingford 28-4-92-1 (nb1); Deonarine 16-2-39-1
WEST INDIES: K. Powell, K. Edwards, D.M. Bravo, M. Samuels, S. Chanderpaul, N. Deonarine, +D. Ramdin, D. Sammy, S. Shillingford, T. Best, S. Gabriel
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: I. Gould (England), P. Reiffel (Australia)
TV umpire: N. Llong (England)
Match referee: R. Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: G. Baxter (New Zealand)