Kiwis keep grip
WELLINGTON – Kirk Edwards and Marlon Samuels scored half-centuries to lead a West Indies fightback but a top-order slump left New Zealand in control on the second day of the second Test at Basin Reserve yesterday.
Edwards hit 55, his second consecutive half-century of the series, and Samuels was unbeaten on 50, his first in six innings, as West Indies, replying to the New Zealanders’ first innings total of 441, reached 158 for four at the close.
Edwards followed up his 59 in the second innings of the first Test with another solid innings that included a half-dozen boundaries from 74 balls in close to two hours.
He was caught at cover off left-arm medium-fast bowler Corey Anderson from a leading edge, leaving the Windies wobbling on 103 for three.
Samuels signalled a return to form with nine fours from 57 balls in an hour and a half of solid batting in which he took advantage of some loose New Zealand bowling in the closing overs to add some respectability to the innings.
Edwards and fellow opener Kieran Powell endured a few testing deliveries from new-ball pair Tim Southee and Trent Boult to give West Indies a steady start of 47 for the first wicket before two wickets in quick succession had the visitors scrambling.
Powell was trapped lbw by an in-swinging delivery from Southee for 21 which he challenged, thinking he had gotten an inside edge, only to be disappointed.
Bravo, a double century-maker in the previous Test, never got a chance to settle before he edged Anderson three overs later and was caught at second slip for four.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul drove loosely at a delivery outside the off-stump from Boult and was caught at cover for six, leaving Samuels and Narsingh Deonarine, not out on 11, to bat through until stumps were drawn.
Earlier, West Indies were frustrated by the weather and stubborn batting from the New Zealanders’ lower order before dismissing their opponents just before the rescheduled lunch.
Light to moderate showers delayed the start of the day by one and a quarter hours and persistent rain also delayed the start to the West Indies’ first innings, as not a ball was bowled between the re-scheduled lunch interval and tea break.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Bradley-John Watling anchored the bottom half of the Black Caps’ batting with a resolute 65.
Watling shared a record last-wicket stand of 58 with Boult as inconsistent bowling continued to haunt West Indies.
Tino Best was the most successful of the visitors’ bowlers, taking four for 110 from 21 overs. Shannon Gabriel claimed two for 86 from 25.1 overs and West Indies captain Darren Sammy collected two for 92 from 25 overs. (CMC)