Spectacular Boult catch proves pivotal moment

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2013
Trent Boult
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INSPIRED: A supreme spell of bowling by Trent Boult has left the West Indies in disarray.

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Let's talk turning points.

Seeing Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels wander off in quick succession yesterday afternoon was enough to convince most people that the West Indians had folded their tent up.

But for Brendon McCullum, whose test captaincy tenure had begun with 10 winless tests, it wasn't till Trent Boult tried his hand at catching that New Zealand had the second test at the Basin Reserve won.

Boult's bowling was in a different class to anyone else in this match and ought to have been the thing that everyone remembered him for.

Not content with that, though, the left-armer added a moment that'll become fielding folklore, when he hauled in a Denesh Ramdin drive to backward point.

From that moment on, McCullum knew he'd finally be belting out the team song soon after.

"It was starting to get a bit dark and I thought we might have to come back tomorrow [today] to finish them off," McCullum said after his team's innings and 73-run victory.

"But that catch was a real sign the momentum was with us and luck was going to go our way, though [Trent] won't say it was lucky. To me that was the pivotal moment because it exposed their bowlers and gave us a real shot."

While McCullum saw the catch as clean as a whistle, and the possibilities it was about to open up for his team, it was all a blur for Boult.

"I don't know what happened, to be honest. I kind of threw my body up there and it literally went straight into my hands. [It was] something pretty special and something I won't forget, but it was brilliant if I can say that," Boult said.

It also underlined one of the many gulfs between the two teams in this game. Most of the Black Caps batted with discipline, at least for a time, they bowled a better length and their catching was exemplary.

Those are things you couldn't say about the West Indians, who largely played without heart or thought.

Shannon Gabriel toiled hard with the ball and openers Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards did their best, but too many of the others simply gave it away on the second and third afternoons.

"I thought, as a team, we left Dunedin with confidence, especially the way we played to save the test. To come down here, I think 16 wickets fell today for a hundred and something runs. It's very disappointing," captain Darren Sammy said.

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- The Dominion Post

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