WI attack leave NZ struggling


The focus seemed more on survival, rather than aggression as New Zealand made slow progress and lost three wickets in the morning session. Sunil Narine posed questions with the old ball, while the seamers spiced up the action with the new ball, raising West Indies’ hopes of restricting New Zealand to under 300 and thereabouts. With the ball not coming on to the bat as easily as it did on the opening day, run-scoring proved difficult as the visitors added only 55 runs.
West Indies ensured that the nightwatchman Neil Wagner didn’t last long as Narine got one to kick up and take the outside edge to second slip. Darren Sammy persisted with the older ball, in order to give Narine an extended spell to see if he could exploit the rough. He had as many as four men around the batsmen waiting for the edge. Kane Williamson and Dean Brownlie went on the defensive, and at one stage New Zealand had scored only 10 runs in as many overs.
Brownlie got off the mark off his third ball, and remained scoreless for the next 29. Williamson waited patiently for the odd loosener from Narine, punishing anything short. Sammy gave Narine a break and opted for the second new ball after 106 overs. The new ball posed questions straightaway as Ravi Rampaul squared up Brownlie on the off stump, only for the outside edge to beat the slips and gully. Roach signalled his intentions by banging it in short and Williamson did well on one occasion to keep it down with his glove. Another short one fizzed past his glove down the leg side. In his following over, Roach varied his length by pitching it up and Williamson, failing to move his feet, only managed an inside edge on to the stumps. Roach then had a strong appeal for a caught behind turned down the following ball. Replays showed the ball kissing Kruger van Wyk’s glove, but West Indies had already used up their reviews. Roach continued to pepper van Wyk with the short stuff, and it looked like another wicket was around the corner. Brownlie couldn’t carry on after making a start, edging Rampaul to the wicketkeeper. Rampaul had just been spanked the previous ball for bowling too short, but he cleverly bowled it fuller and induced the false shot.
Earlier, New Zealand were 232/4 at the close on the opening day of the first of two Tests on Wednesday as Martin Guptill spurned the chance of a century. Things had been going slowly the tourists’ way when Guptill, on 97 and looking for his first ton against a side other than Bangladesh or Zinmbabwe, slogged Sunil Narine to the grateful waiting Narsingh Deonarine just three overs before the end of the session.
It was Narine’s third wicket and put the hosts back on an even keel after they had earlier looked to be toiling at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium after Kiwi captain Ross Taylor had won the toss.