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The fourth day of the first Test in Jamaica saw New Zealand dominating the day’s play and pulling off only their second victory against West Indies at home. Shiamak Unwalla looks back at the events that shaped the day’s play at Kingston.
Jerome Taylor’s double strike early in the day
After a lacklustre outing in the first innings, West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor struck late in the evening on Day 3 to get rid of Peter Fulton. On Day 4, he started things off by snaring night-watchman Ish Sodhi and Ross Taylor LBW off successive deliveries. He ensured that the New Zealand batsmen had to toil in order to score runs off his bowling.
Tom Latham’s resurgent innings
Tom Latham had already shown his capabilities with a fine 83 in the first innings, and he continued to make good on his promise with a sedate yet vital 73. In an innings where no one else crossed 22, Latham’s knock held the innings together.
New Zealand overcome early wickets to take lead past 400
Latham’s 73 and cameos from Jimmy Neesham, BJ Watling and Mark Craig helped push the lead past 400. Craig achieved the rare feat of hitting a six off his first ball in international cricket in the process.
Chris Gayle’s landmark moment
The 100-Test man looked in red-hot form, hitting the impressive Trend Boult for two boundaries in the first over of the chase. In doing so, Chris Gayle finally crossed the threshold of 7,000 Test runs. Unfortunately, he was out soon after, which brings us to…
Tim Southee’s double blow
The star of the first innings was equally potent in the second innings. Tim Southee worked up some pace and found just enough movement to displace both openers. Kieran Powell was the first to go, clipping one off his pads to the fielder at short mid-wicket, but it was in his next over that he got the big fish. Gayle poked at one outside off and got a feather of an edge to wicketkeeper Watling, who pouched the chance gleefully. That was the moment that virtually ended the hopes for a West Indies win.
Mark Craig’s second-innings spell from hell
If anyone thought that his spell in the first innings was a flash in the pan, Craig proved them wrong by enticing Kirk Edwards first and Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels soon after to reduce West Indies to 54 for five. Samuels got his second duck of the match and the West Indies were losing hope.
Ish Sodhi trapping the unshakable Chanderpaul
If there is any batsman you would bet big money to survive a testing spell, it would be Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The man has shown for over 20 years now that he has the ability to bat for obscenely long periods of time. With Denesh Ramdin looking good at the other end, New Zealand would have been anxious to break the partnership. The young leg-spinner Ish Sodhi did just that, when he foxed ‘Chanders’ into shouldering arms to one that spun sharply. Chanderpaul chose to go for a review, but the call stayed with the on-field umpire as he had to walk back LBW to Sodhi.
Fireworks at the end to brighten up Kingston
When the highest partnership of the innings comes from the last pair — batsmen Nos. 10 and 11 — and the highest scorer is the last man, you know you have a problem. However, the way Shane Shillingford and Suleiman Benn went ballistic at the end, West Indies might just be tempted to send the two up the order in the next game! Shillingford hit sixes at will and thoroughly spoiled Craig’s impressive figures en route to scoring the fastest test fifty by a West Indian batsman. Unfortunately, the late burst was not enough to take the match into Day 5, as Benn was dismissed in the final over of the day to Kane Williamson.
(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)
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