Windies seem ready to surrender second test

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

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The West Indies seem resigned to taking little or nothing from Wellington's Basin Reserve.

Trailing New Zealand by 283, with six first-innings wickets in hand, the visiting batting coach Stuart Williams was not a picture of contentment following the second day of the second test.

Having watched his team bowl and field poorly, he then saw them lose four wickets in their 37 overs before stumps, with the West Indies going to the close at 158 for four in reply to New Zealand's first innings of 441.

"We lost a couple of wickets more than we wanted. 158? We'd take that but probably for two," Williams said.

New Zealand had bowled well in fits and starts, but their search for wickets led to some pretty loose stuff being delivered to the West Indians.

Marlon Samuels will resume on 50 but Darren Bravo (4) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (6) are gone, and their absence could prove telling today.

Taking wickets was not an easy task on day two.

But the fact the Black Caps were able to coax out four before stumps only underlined how poor the West Indian bowling was when they got best use of the conditions.

"We didn't bowl well at all.

"We weren't consistent enough, especially with the new ball and that's cost us the kind of position we're in now," said Williams.

Shelling five catches, notably Ross Taylor on 0, was another contributing factor to putting the Windies well behind at this point.

"Our fielding wasn't up to international standard but it's a work in progress and you'll have those days sometimes," Williams said.

Samuels is an enigmatic type, capable of long stays at the crease but also of inexplicable brain explosions.

A massive amount hinges on his wicket - for both teams.

If the Black Caps can dismiss him early doors, then a win is not entirely out of the realms of possibility.

A draw would still be the short-priced favourite, particularly given some forecast rain, but the absence of Bravo and Chanderpaul does present New Zealand with a huge opening into the West Indian tail.

Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy are capable of coming in and getting handy runs, just not setting up camp and batting New Zealand into the ground the way Bravo and Chanderpaul can.

That was enough to have Williams already looking ahead to the third test in Hamilton.

"They have the kind of bowling attack that suits the conditions here, so we always know we're going to have a challenge," Williams said.

"As we go along through the tour, I think we'll get much better. We still have a test match to play; we're in the middle of one now and hopefully we'll get better."

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