Roach, Best make it West Indies’ day | Pakistan Today

Roach, Best make it West Indies’ day

West Indies achieved what was expected of them after winning the toss and opting to bowl, that was to bowl the opposition out. Kemar Roach justified his captain’s decision with a four-wicket haul, backed by Tino Best, to restrict the struggling New Zealand side to 260 on a Sabina Park pitch which offered something more to the seamers on the opening day than the surface at Antigua. New Zealand, though, brought it on themselves with a series of poor shots and as a result they could never keep West Indies under pressure for sustained periods.
The captain Ross Taylor said after the first Test that his team needed more centuries if they are to mount any pressure on the opposition. But once again, they turned in an underwhelming performance with the bat, with two batsmen, including Taylor himself, making half-centuries but failing to convert them. New Zealand had made decent progress till tea, but lost their last seven wickets for 99 runs to give West Indies the upper hand.
The overnight rain had left some moisture on the pitch and that prompted Darren Sammy to give his bowlers first use of the conditions. His seamers induced mistakes from the top order with an incisive opening spell. Best, in for the injured Ravi Rampaul, made an impact straightaway, beating the batsmen with pace and extra lift from a good length. There was no swing on offer but movement off the pitch, which kept the openers guessing. A couple of outside edges fell short of the packed slip cordon, Guptill took one on the chest, and it looked like a wicket was around the corner. Kemar Roach’s four-wicket haul is his second of the series (five-for in the first Test) and the sixth haul of four or more wickets in his Tests. Since 2009, Roach’s tally of 81 wickets is comfortably the best among West Indian bowlers. Martin Guptill continued his good form with his third consecutive half-century of the series. In five previous innings, Guptill has scored four half-centuries and averages 62.4.
Ross Taylor’s 60 is his 16th half-century and first against West Indies. In six innings against West Indies, Taylor has scored 191 runs at 31.83.
The 103-run stand between Guptill and Taylor is the fifth-highest third-wicket stand for New Zealand against West Indies. The four other century stands for the third wicket have come in Tests played in New Zealand. Brendon McCullum’s tally of ducks (10) is the fourth-highest among New Zealand top-order (1-7) batsmen (only includes innings played between No.1 and No.7). Stephen Fleming and Ken Rutherford top the list with 16 ducks each.

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