New Zealand were on top with regular wickets © Getty Images
By R Vishal
Jul 1, 2014
West Indies were in tatters at the Tea break with regular wickets by the New Zealand bowlers seeing them stare at the face of defeat and need some divine intervention from the rain gods. The skies have opened up quite a few times in this Test match and twice in the day it threatened to wash away the game. After Trent Boult struck early, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo steadied the ship and built a solid partnership. Chanderpaul, however, didn’t last long after the rain delay and was out stumped for the first time in his 20-year old career.
Earlier, Brendon McCullum forced an attacking move at the start of the day, calling for a declaration with a lead of 307 in the bag. Kane Williamson’s brilliant unbeaten hundred on Day four had presented a few options for the Black Caps’ skipper. He decided to go for the kill and was handsomely rewarded right away. Trent Boult was getting the ball to move around and gave New Zealand a shot in the arm after Kraigg Brathwaite was bowled. Soon after Kirk Edwards couldn’t keep the ball down and Ross Taylor took a smart catch at gully.
The visitors could sense damage and Tim Southee joined the party with Gayle chopping the ball onto his stumps and New Zealand were cock-a-hoop. The wise head of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, however calmed things down in the middle. The 40-year old was positive with his footwork and intent and was in no mood to hang back. Bravo got his eye in initially and then chose the bad deliveries to strike a few fours. The rain gods couldn’t have come at a better time for the Kiwis as there was a good partnership that threatened to blunt the bowling attack.
But New Zealand were patient and used the rain breaks to their advantage. The bowlers worked as a team to run through the middle order. If it was Boult with his early strikes, it was Mark Craig’s cheap dismissals and the priced wicket of Chanderpaul. Tim Southee then took over and left the hosts in total disarray.
New Zealand 293 (Ross Taylor 45, Jimmy Neesham 78, Mark Craig 46*; Sulieman Benn 5 for 93, Kemar Roach 4 for 61) & 331 for 7 decl. (Kane Williamson 161*, Jimmy Neesham 51; Kemar Roach 4 for 55) lead West Indies 317 (Chris Gayle 42, Kraigg Brathwaite 68, Kirk Edwards 58; Neil Wagner 4 for 64) & 161 for 7 (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 25, Darren Bravo 40 ; Trent Boult 2 for 38, Tim Southee 3 for 28) by 147 runs
(R Vishal is a journalist and alumnus of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)