KINGSTON - New Zealand were pegged back by the West Indies on the second morning of the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Monday but were still well placed at 299 for five in their first innings at the lunch interval. Resuming from the overnight position of 240 for two, the tourists lost the wickets of their three most experienced batsmen as the Caribbean spinners’ discipline and perseverance began to pay off with greater regularity.
Sulieman Benn was the first to strike within the first hour, Kane Williamson adding just another eight runs before misjudging the line of a straighter delivery from the left-armer to have his off-stump knocked back on 113. His demise triggered the loss of the other two wickets for the addition of a further 20 runs. Former captain Ross Taylor, the other overnight batsman, got to 55 before chipping a catch to Kirk Edwards at midwicket off off-spinner Shane Shillingford.
There was more celebration in the West Indies camp in the next over when extra bounce extracted by Benn grazed the edge of Brendon McCullum’s bat and Chris Gayle took the lobbed catch via wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin’s shoulder to send the New Zealand captain back for just seven. At 279 for five and with more than half-an-hour to go before lunch, West Indies pressed to separate the sixth-wicket pair of Jimmy Neesham and B.J. Watling.
Jerome Taylor, who together with fellow fast bowler Kemar Roach ensured that there were no easy runs to be had at the start of the day, was summoned for a second spell but could not provide the additional breakthrough. On a pitch that is expected to show increasing signs of wear in the extremely hot conditions, Neesham and Watling, on 10 and 12 respectively at the break, will be seeking to lift New Zealand’s total closer to the 400-run mark.
To do that they will need the help of the rest of the lower order on a day when the sparse attendance at the ground may be expecting Gayle to make an impression with the bat in his 100th Test at the start of the West Indies reply.
NEW ZEALAND 1ST INNINGS:
T Latham c and b Shillingford 83
P Fulton c wkpr Ramdin b Taylor 1
K Williamson b Benn 113
R Taylor c Edwards b Shillingford 55
B McCullum c Gayle b Benn 7
J Neesham not out 10
BJ Watling not out 12
EXTRAS: (b5, lb6, w5, nb2) 18
TOTAL: (122 overs, 5 wickets) 299
FOW: 1-9, 2-174, 3-259, 4-277, 5-279
BOWLING: Taylor 24-11-31-1, Roach 22-4-68-0, Bravo 1-0-2-0, Benn 36-11-90-2, Samuels 5-1-13-0, Shillingford 34-5-84-2.
WEST INDIES: Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin (captain), Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Shane Shillingford, Kemar Roach.
UMPIRES: Rod Tucker (AUS), Richard Illingworth (ENG)
TV UMPIRE: Ian Gould (ENG)
MATCH REFEREE: Chris Broad (ENG)