Samuels holds WI together
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Marlon Samuels defied the spirited New Zealand attack to collect a half-century, holding West Indies’ batting together before tea in the second Digicel Test on Friday here.
The hometown boy was unbeaten on 79 and Sunil Narine was not out on zero, as West Indies stumbled to 163 for seven, replying to New Zealand’s first innings total of 260, at the break on the second day.
To the delight of small crowd of mainly his compatriots at Sabina Park, Samuels reached his 50 from 93 balls, when he slapped a short delivery from left-arm fast-medium bowler Neil Wagner through widish mid-off for his ninth four. He has so far batted 215 minutes, faced 137 balls and struck 13 fours.
Samuels remained unflappable, though there was instability at the other with four wickets falling between lunch and tea.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was caught at first slip for nine, nibbling at a delivery from Tim Southee that moved across him, and soon followed Narsingh Deonarine caught behind for a duck, playing forward defensive to left-arm fast-medium bowler Trent Boult, leaving West Indies 83 for five.
Denesh Ramdin arrived at stemmed the fall of wickets, putting on 30 with Samuels before he was caught at gully for 15 from a leading edge to a short, rising delivery from Wagner.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy played his usual cameo, striking six fours in a rapid 32 before he was lbw to Southee, when New Zealand reviewed Australian umpire Paul Reiffel’s not-out verdict.
Before lunch, three cheap wickets – including Chris Gayle – had put West Indies under pressure, as they reached 62 for three.
After West Indies resumed on 11 without loss, opener Kieran Powell and Assad Fudadin fell in the first half-hour to Boult, and Gayle fell for eight to a brute of a delivery from Neil Wagner in the final hour before lunch.
Powell failed to add to his overnight 10 before he edged to third slip, and Fudadin made five before he was lbw after the Black Caps reviewed South African umpire Marais Erasmus’ not-out verdict.
Gayle was strangely subdued throughout the 107 minutes he spent at the crease and survived a chance on five, when wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and first slip fielder Ross Taylor, the visitors’ captain, combined to muff an edge from the big left-hander in Southee’s third over.
The talismanic opener was kept on a tight rein by the New Zealand attack before he cuffed a short, rising, eighth delivery from Wagner, another left-arm fast-medium bowler, to backward point.
Chanderpaul had a few close shaves just before lunch. He was one, when he turned a delivery from Southee uppishly into mid-wicket, and was six, when he got the leading edge and almost gave a return chance to Wagner.
Samuels was typically silky smooth, an on-drive off Southee bristled with confidence, and he looked the most comfortable West Indies batsman at the crease.
Boult has been New Zealand’s most successful bowler with 3-58 from 17 overs, Wagner has taken 2-24 from 10 overs, and Southee 2-40 from 14 overs.
West Indies lead the two-Test series 1-0, following a nine-wicket victory in the first Test, which ended last Monday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
They are making a bid to complete their first series sweep, since Ridley Jacobs’ side beat Bangladesh 2-0 close to a decade ago.
NEW ZEALAND 1st Innings 260
(M. Guptill 71; K. Roach 4-70)
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
(overnight 11 without loss)
C. Gayle c Watling b Wagner 8
K. Powell c Brownlie b Boult 10
A. Fudadin lbw b Boult 5
M. Samuels not out 79
S. Chanderpaul c Taylor b Southee 9
N. Deonarine c wkpr van Wyk b Boult 0
+D. Ramdin c Williamson b Wagner 15
*D. Sammy lbw b Southee 32
S. Narine not out 0
Extras (lb4, w1) 5
TOTAL (7 wkts) 163
K. Roach, T. Best to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Powell), 2-17 (Fudadin), 3-53 (Gayle), 4-82 (Chanderpaul), 5-83 (Deonarine), 6-113 (+Ramdin), 7-162 (*Sammy)
Bowling: Boult 17-2-58-3; Bracewell 11-3-30-0; Southee 14-5-40-2 (w1); Wagner 10-3-24-2; Williamson 3-0-7-0
Position: West Indies trail by 97 with three first innings wickets standing
Umpires: M. Erasmus (South Africa), P. Reiffel (Australia)
TV umpire: R. Kettleborough (England)
Match referee: R. Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: G. Brathwaite (West Indies/Barbados)