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Jun 10, 2014
James Neesham bringing up two back-to-back hundreds in his first two Tests and BJ Watling‘s gritty and determined knocks put New Zealand in command at the end of day two. The West Indies bowlers toiled against the spinners and after Watling’s wicket, declared the innings at 508 for seven.
In what was interesting session, especially for lovers of an action packed game, the batsmen went after the hosts bowling attack and runs flowed in the final session of the day’s play. Neesham was on the offensive, continuing on his earlier work and after putting in the hours at the crease, Watling hit Samuels for a straight six and Neesham brought up his century off 165 balls. Tim Southee then played a wonderful cameo, powering a couple of big hits over the fence.
Earlier, in the second session,The line was fuller from the West Indian spinners and the batsmen were restricted to defending and prodding in the first quarter of the session. The empty stands were filling up quickly with quite a few middle-aged gentlemen — quite summing up the younger generation’s attitude towards Test cricket.
Shane Shilligford in particular was getting the ball to grip and turn sharply into the batsmen and the batsmen were forced to defend most of the deliveries from the wily spinner. During what was a difficult phase for the New Zealand duo of Neesham and Watling, the New Zealand wicket-keeper stood out for his exemplary display against spin.
Watling displayed positive footwork and knew when to come forward or romp back. The most important quality while facing spin — knowing when to punish the bad deliveries holds paramount importance. Watling showed that and held fort while West Indies wrested back the initiative. At one stage, Neesham said enough is enough and stepped down the wicket and smashed two sixes over the sight-screen in the same over. Suliemann Benn, on the other hand continued to be average and turned out to be easy pickings for the batsmen.
After a rather quite beginning, Neesham grew in confidence and displayed more attacking intent at the crease and brought up his half-century. The southpaw used his feet well against the spinners and that yielded more boundaries for the black caps.
New Zealand 508 for 7 decl.(Kane Williamson 113 James Neesham 107; Suliemann Benn 3 for 142, Shane Shillingford 3 for 145) vs West Indies.
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