Gayle And Powell Torment New Zealand
West Indies took control on the second day of the first Test in Antigua, as they followed up a strong final half hour with the ball yesterday to bowl New Zealand out for 351, before reaching 145 for none in reply.
Sunil Narine began the day by getting rid of night-watchman Neil Wagner in the third over as West Indies persisted with the old ball. That made it 233 for five and took New Zealand’s mini-collapse to three for 10 – all three to Narine. However, captain Darren Sammy perhaps delayed taking the new ball for too long and allowed the sixth-wicket pair of Kane Williamson and Dean Brownlie to stop the rot.
Both men played cautiously and survived until the 107th over, at which point Sammy decided to take the new nut. He was rewarded almost immediately as Kemar Roach bowled with hostility and induced Williamson to chop onto his stumps for 19 from 69 balls.
Brownlie followed five overs later to Ravi Rampaul, who had been bowling too short but finally decided to pitch one up with immediate results. He failed to get forward and played a flat footed waft, only succeeding in edging through to Denesh Ramdin. Roach continued to bowl with pace and had wicket-keeper Kruger van Wyk hopping around, ducking in an uncomfortable manner, and almost caught at short-leg on a couple of occasions. New man Daniel Vettori too could have gone, but his spliced pull-shot landed safely and the Black Caps reached lunch on 287 for seven, having added 55 runs in 28 overs.
Following the resumption, Vettori played breezily and had advanced to 17 before he lobbed a catch to mid-wicket. In the next over, van Wyk gave Narine his fifth wicket when he edged a catch to short-leg which was snaffled by Assad Fudadin, and the end looked nigh as Chris Martin strolled to the middle.
However, he added 42 with Doug Bracewell for the tenth wicket, with the princely sum of four coming off his bat and the more substantial sum of 39 coming from the latter’s. Bracewell clubbed seven boundaries during his 31-ball innings as he took to the bowling of Narine and Darren Sammy with relish, before skying a catch to mid-off to end the innings on 351.
So, thanks to their last-wicket pair, New Zealand would have been optimistic as they headed out to bowl. Unfortunately for them, Chris Gayle had other ideas. He hit the final four deliveries of the opening over from Chris Martin for four and barely looked back, bringing up 50 in his comeback Test match from 39 balls and taking West Indies to tea on 72 for none. Gayle was badly dropped by Daniel Flynn at point on 36, while his partner Kieran Powell had benefited from a Martin Guptill misjudgement at slip, but that apart the pair were hardly troubled as New Zealand’s seamer bowled erratically.
After tea, Kieran Powell began to up the tempo of his innings and drove nicely down the ground on several occasions. Daniel Vettori did offer New Zealand captain Ross Taylor some control and was helped by a change of plan from Gayle which saw him play differently as he perhaps thought about his century. Powell brought up his 50 off 128 balls and closed on 58, while Gayle ended on 85 as West Indies ended a satisfying day trailing by just 206 runs with all 10 wickets still intact.
© Cricket World 2012
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