Persistent Southee weighs into West Indies
Tim Southee of New Zealand bowls in Auckland on February 8, 2014 - by Michael Bradley
The seamer took three vital wickets to reduce the home team to 176 for six in reply to the tourists' first innings total of 508 for seven declared at the tea interval.
Wicketless in the morning session, Southee struck immediately after lunch by having Chris Gayle caught at the wicket for 64 and fellow-Jamaican Marlon Samuels lbw without scoring in the space of three deliveries.
He then returned just before the end of the session to break a promising 72-run sixth-wicket partnership between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and captain Denesh Ramdin, inducing a careless shot from the wicketkeeper-batsman for Watling to take the relatively simple leg-side catch behind the wicket and end Ramdin’s resistance at 39.
This leaves the evergreen Chanderpaul (43 not out) with only the lower-order for company as the West Indies contemplate the onerous task of adding another 133 runs to avoid the follow-on.
However, it is debatable whether New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will choose to enforce the follow-on given the workload on his frontline bowlers on another very hot day in the Jamaican capital.
All eyes were on Gayle on the resumption after lunch with the hard-hitting opening batsman already reaching 50 and threatening something monumental in his 100th Test.
Yet having past 13,000 runs in first-class cricket during the course of the innings, he was drawn into edging another probing Southee delivery when just three runs away from reaching 7,000 runs in Tests.
Samuels' swift demise in the same over compounded West Indies' woes, although Chanderpaul and Ramdin offered some hope of meaningful resistance with a partnership that looked set to take their team to the break until Southee offered a change of pace delivery that Ramdin only succeeded in edging onto his thigh pad before it lobbed to the wicketkeeper.
It was spin that proved most effective for New Zealand in the morning with debutant Mark Craig and leggie Ish Sodhi combining for three wickets in the space of 11 deliveries that transformed the West Indies innings from the comfort of 60 without loss to the considerable unease of 61 for three.
Kieran Powell, on 28, fell palpably lbw to Craig. New batsman Kirk Edwards stabbed indecisively at a delivery from the newcomer two deliveries later and Ross Taylor dived low to his right to take the catch at slip.
Bad turned to worse for the West Indies in the next over when Darren Bravo, who has struggled for runs since leaving the tour of New Zealand last November for personal reasons, chipped a catch back to Sodhi. Like Edwards, he also failed to score.
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