Black Caps collapse in second Windies test
There was a distinct thud in the New Zealand dressing room as they plummeted from the lofty heights of Kingston on day one of the second cricket test against West Indies.
Totally dominant throughout their 186-run victory, to go 1-0 up in the three-match series, the Black Caps gave us a reminder of the not-too-distant past today as they collapsed to 221 all out at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
Their last seven wickets tumbled for 60 in a frantic final session as paceman Jerome Taylor (4-34) did most of the damage.
At stumps, West Indies were 6-1 in reply as New Zealand finished on a high with the big wicket of Chris Gayle who continued to struggle.
In an intense spell, Trent Boult generated prodigious swing and skittled Gayle for one with a gem that uprooted off stump.
With some encouraging swing on offer for Boult and Tim Southee, it was now over to an unchanged New Zealand bowling attack to haul their team back into the contest, on a Queen's Park Oval pitch offering more pace than Sabina Park. The pitch was also expected to assist the spinners later on.
Captain Brendon McCullum could barely win a toss at home, but made it successive correct calls as he chose to bat on a patchy, green-looking surface that prompted West Indies to include an extra paceman, Shannon Gabriel, and drop spinner Shane Shillingford.
Topscorer Tom Latham (82) excepted, New Zealand's batsmen were too loose against some accurate but hardly unplayable bowling. But for some poor West Indies catching they could have been in huge strife.
Four of the top-six perished to errant wafts as the patience and discipline from their first innings 508-7 at Kingston, Jamaica, seemed to vanish in a hazy hangover.
The turning point came with McCullum's dismissal for four, soon after the tea interval, after New Zealand had been in solid shape at 120-1 thanks to a 104-run stand between Latham and Kane Williamson (42).
Left-arm spin has regularly troubled McCullum in the past and he was again today trapped on the crease, hit on the back leg by Sulieman Benn (3-73).
Umpire Rod Tucker gave it not out and the West Indies challenged, with ball tracker replays showing it hitting high on middle stump.
It took an eternity for the decision, which seemed the right one, but left McCullum muttering and shaking his head as he trudged off.
Earlier in the day it looked like more of the same as Latham made it three successive half-centuries, but the headache of his opening partners continued.
Hamish Rutherford replaced Peter Fulton in the only change from Kingston, but faced just 22 balls for three before he drove ambitiously on the up and edged to the cordon. The microscope will be on him for the rest of the series as he mirrors Fulton's struggles at test level this year.
Latham dug in for 229 minutes and survived a dropped catch from gloveman Denesh Ramdin on 58, before he replicated Rutherford's dismissal when in sight of a well-deserved maiden test century. Williamson also had a let-off, dropped by Gayle on 19, then he gave it away when skying a hook shot.
Ross Taylor survived an early one-handed drop from Kirk Edwards and rode his luck, twice edging Kemar Roach through the slips for boundaries. He ended 45 not out after making the most of his good fortune but it was a procession at the other end.
Jerome Taylor bowled fast and full, with a handy outswinger, and continued his role from Kingston as the West Indies' most threatening bowler in his first test series since 2009.
All-rounder Jimmy Neesham was eyeing three centuries in his first three tests, swaggering to the crease with an average of 99 from four innings. He started strongly, but on 15 got too ambitious to a short one from Taylor and offered Gayle a sharp chance at slip.
When the usually reliable BJ Watling was nicked out by a straight one from Taylor, the slide was on at pace.
T Latham c Benn b Roach 82
H Rutherford c Gayle b Taylor 3
K Williamson c sub (Holder) b Gabriel 42
R Taylor not out 45
B McCullum lbw Benn 4
J Neesham c Gayle b Taylor 15
B Watling c Ramdin b Taylor 0
I Sodhi c Gayle b Taylor 0
T Southee lbw Benn 10
M Craig c Bravo b Gabriel 4
T Boult lbw Benn 1
Extras (4b, 6lb, 3nb, 2w) 15
Total (74.4 overs) 221
Fall: 16 (Rutherford), 120 (Williamson), 146 (Latham), 161 (McCullum), 192 (Neesham), 198 (Watling), 199 (Sodhi), 210 (Southee), 215 (Craig), 221 (Boult).
Bowling: J Taylor 17-5-34-4 (1w, 1nb), K Roach 17-1-61-1, S Gabriel 12-2-43-2 (1w, 2nb), S Benn 28.4-6-73-3.
C Gayle b Boult 1
K Brathwaite not out 5
S Benn not out 0
Total (for 1 wicket, 7 overs) 6
Fall: 4 (Gayle).
Bowling: T Boult 4-2-4-1, T Southee 3-1-2-0.