West Indies in control of first test against NZ

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 10:19 27/07/2012
New Zealand's Neil Wagner chats with Windies batting star Chris Gayle during day two of the first test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
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BATTING ADVICE: New Zealand's Neil Wagner chats with Windies batting star Chris Gayle during day two of the first test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.

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The West Indies are in a strong position to bat New Zealand out of the first test, after dominating day two of the match at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Resuming at 232 for four, the Black Caps' batsmen never gained any momentum on the second morning, before being bowled out for 351. Sunil Narine, playing in his second test match, snared his first five-wicket bag, with the Windies' quick bowlers sharing the rest of the wickets around.

New Zealand created just one clear-cut chance, when it came their time to bowl. Chris Gayle spooned a Doug Bracewell delivery just to the left of Daniel Flynn at point, who stumbled and never got into a decent position to take the catch.

Gayle, who'd been on 36 at the time, eventually went to stumps 85 not out.

Fellow opener Kieran Powell poked and prodded his way to 58 not out, as the pair to the Windies at 145 without loss at the close of play.

In theory, this should have been an ideal day for New Zealand to establish some ascendancy. Instead it was the hosts who took the whip hand.

This is not an easy wicket to bat on, and will only get worse. But there are no real terrors just yet and New Zealand should have posted a total well in excess of 351.

Nightwatchman Neil Wagner went without adding to his overnight score, before Kane Williamson and new batsman Dean Brownlie dug in. It was gritty stuff, but taking New Zealand's innings nowhere, as neither showed much intent to tick the scoreboard over.

Williamson eventually chopped Kemar Roach on after the West Indies had delayed taking the second new ball. He went for 19, having scored just 17 runs in the opening 19.1 overs of the morning session.

Brownlie nicked out to Ravi Rampaul for 23, Kruger van Wyk made 11 before was caught at bat-pad off Narine, having already enjoyed a life, and it was only some lusty late hitting from Bracewell that got New Zealand anywhere near 350.

He clubbed 39 off 31 balls, twice depositing Narine onto the embankment.

Daniel Vettori now faces the task of bowling the West Indies out tomorrow – and quickly.

The former skipper has already wheeled down 15 overs, but faces a heavy workload if New Zealand are to get back into the match. Chris Martin was cannon fodder at times as Gayle, playing his first test since December 2010, brought up his half-century in only 39 balls. Wagner was as aggressive as he promised he'd be, but leaked runs too.

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Bracewell was the most effective of New Zealand's quick bowlers, settling into a decent line and length late in the day, which enable him to exploit what variable bounce there is in the pitch. Both Gayle and Powell chopped balls past their stumps, as the odd delivery started to stay down.

Overall it was a disappointing Black Caps bowling effort to match what had been an underwhelming end to their first innings, when the last eight wickets fell 128.

SCOREBOARD

NEW ZEALAND
First innings

D Flynn c Powell b Narine 45
M Guptill c Deonarine b Narine 97
B McCullum c Deonarine b Roach 25
R Taylor b Narine 45
N Wagner c Sammy b Narine 4
K Williamson b Roach 19
D Brownlie c Ramdin b Rampaul 23
K van Wyk c Fudadin b Narine 11
D Vettori c Deonarine b Sammy 17
D Bracewell c Chanderpaul b Rampaul 39
C Martin not out 4
Extras (14b, 1lb, 6nb, 1w) 22
Total 351

FOW: 1/97, 2/133, 3/223, 4/228, 5/233, 6/273, 7/281, 8/308, 9/309, 10/351.

Bowling: R Rampaul 23.1-9-44-2, K Roach 23-8-55-2, D Sammy 26-7-76-1, S Narine 43-9-132-5, M Samuels 6-2-14-0, A Fudadin 5-1-11-0, N Deonarine 3-1-4-0

WEST INDIES
First innings

C Gayle not out 85    
K Powell not out 58 

Extras (2lb) 2

Total (no wkts, 48 overs) 145

Bowling: C Martin 9-2-45-0, D Bracewell 10-2-27-0, N Wagner 8-4-35-0, D Vettori 15-5-24-0, K Williamson 6-1-12-0.

- Stuff

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