West Indies carry narrow lead into second innings
Neil Wagner of New Zealand bowls on February 14, 2014 - by Marty Melville
Neil Wagner, whose wickets of Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the morning session were critical to the Black Caps’ effort in limiting the Caribbean team’s first innings' progress, added the scalp of Sulieman Benn to finish with the best figures of four for 64.
Brendon McCullum’s side had aspirations of actually earning a minimal first innings lead when Trent Boult made good use of the second new ball, trapping West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin leg-before for 45 and dispensing with new batsman Kemar Roach to a catch at the wicket to reduce the hosts to 277 for seven.
However Test debutant Jason Holder and Shane Shillingford put on 36 for the eighth wicket with Shillingford benefiting from a missed opportunity when Mark Craig put down a straightforward chance at second slip off Jimmy Neesham.
Holder, given the responsibility of an all-rounder in a weakened batting line-up, played well for 38 until he gloved an attempted hook off Neesham to become another B.J. Watling victim behind the stumps.
His demise triggered the final slide with the last three wickets going down for just four runs, Wagner uprooting Benn’s off-stump and Neesham yorking Jerome Taylor to wrap up the innings.
West Indies’ final total represented an excellent recovery by New Zealand who were facing the prospect of the home side building on their excellent start in response to the opponents’ first innings total of 293.
Resuming after a severely rain-shortened second day in the relatively comfortable position of 169 for two, the hosts lost Bravo early on and Chanderpaul on the stroke of the interval to Wagner.
In between, Tim Southee accounted for Kirk Edwards to stall the Caribbean side’s quest for a significant first innings lead.
Bravo, whose strength on the off-side has also proven to be a weakness on occasion, eventually fell for the trap set by McCullum.
Twice he drove Wagner for boundaries just out of the reach of the close-in fielders.
He attempted the shot once too often though and a thick outside edge was well held by Kane Williamson at gully to send Bravo back for 24 and get the New Zealand fightback into gear.
The series is tied at 1-1.
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