Kane Williamson keeps New Zealand afloat
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Kane Williamson’s unbeaten half-century kept New Zealand afloat after two key strikes by fast bowler Kemar Roach threatened to derail the innings, as West Indies made critical strides towards winning the decisive third Test here Saturday.
The obdurate right-hander was unbeaten on 58 at the close of the third day, an innings that carried the Black Caps to 123 for three at the close at Kensington Oval – a lead of 99 heading into Sunday’s penultimate day.
He was partnered by captain Brendon McCullum on 23, with the pair having so far added 55 for the fourth wicket.
Earlier, Kirk Edwards got 58, captain Denesh Ramdin stroked 45 and Jason Holder, a polished 38, as West Indies were dismissed for 317 at tea, to take a narrow 24-run lead.
They were perched on 240 for five at lunch after resuming at 169 for two but lost their last five wickets for 77 runs as left-arm seamer Neil Wagner snatched four for 64 and fellow pacers Jimmy Neesham (2-12) and Trent Boult (2-71) picked up two wickets apiece, to undermine the innings.
Roach then set New Zealand back when he claimed in-form opener Tom Latham in the second over of the innings, caught at short mid-wicket without scoring, miscuing a pull at a short ball with a single run on the board.
Williamson then anchored the first of two half-century partnerships, adding 55 for the second wicket with Hamish Rutherford who scored 19.
The right-handed Williamson has so far faced 101 balls, batted 2-1/2 hours and counted 11 fours while Rutherford, who never suggested permanence, lasted 39 balls and 73 minutes and struck two fours.
Williamson got off the mark with a boundary past slip off Roach’s second over, and proceeded to capitalise on the scoring opportunities provided.
He escaped with edged boundaries in Roach’s next over to punch fast bowler Jerome Taylor to the straight boundary and follow up with a pull to the backward point boundary, in the bowler’s sixth over.
Rutherford enjoyed little of this enterprise and was Roach’s second wicket, caught behind by wicketkeeper Ramdin, 40 minutes before the close.
Pacer Holder then reduced New Zealand to 68 for three, when he had Ross Taylor caught by Darren Bravo at second slip for six in his first over, as the Barbadian picked up his first Test wicket.
However, McCullum, searching for his first meaningful score of the series, held up the Windies advance in partnership with Williamson.
Earlier, West Indies made good progress through Edwards and Darren Bravo, who made 24, as the pair pushed their third wicket stand to 44 before being separated.
Edwards started the morning slowly but flicked Wagner for four in the morning’s seventh over to move to 47, before punching seamer Trent Boult through cover to reach his fifty.
Bravo as usual played with freedom, with a streaky boundary off pacer Tim Southee in the day’s fourth over before driving Wagner uppishly through cover for another four, in the next over.
He lifted Wagner over cover again but then drove at the bowler once too many times and sliced to Williamson at gully, on the stroke of the hour mark, at 197 for three
Half-hour later with eight runs added, Edwards followed trying to flick Southee over mid-wicket but only succeeding in getting a leading edge to mid-on where Rutherford pedalled back to take the catch.
He faced 111 balls in 166 minutes, striking six fours and a six.
The hosts then suffered a huge blow on the stroke of lunch when veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul was caught at the wicket for 15 off Wagner, ending a promising 35-run, fifth wicket stand with Ramdin.
Ramdin and Holder added 37 for the sixth wicket after lunch, and it seemed then as if West Indies would carve out a bigger first innings lead.
The right-handed Ramdin faced 70 balls in 1-1/2 hours at the crease and struck eight fours while Holder counted four fours in an innings lasting 76 balls and 113 minutes.
Ramdin got going after the break with a flowing cover drive for four off off-spinner Mark Craig and then slashed Wagner through gully for another boundary in the following over.
He took two more boundaries off Craig to move into the 40s but then played all around a straight one from Boult and was given lbw. Not even a review could save him.
With no runs added ten balls later, Roach was taken by wicketkeeper BJ Watling diving one-handed to his right off Boult, leaving the Windies on 277 for seven.
Holder then took charge in a pleasant innings, adding 36 with Shane Shillingford, who finished on ten not out.
Showing a penchant for the drive, Holder stroked Wagner past mid-on for his first boundary before cover-driving Boult for another, to take West Indies past 300. He punched Neesham impressively through cover but then with the runs having dried up, gloved a pull behind to Watling, 15 minutes before tea.
The end came swiftly for the Windies as Sulieman Benn lost to his off-stump to Wagner for one before Jeorme Taylor was yorked by Neesham, also for one, off the first ball of the next over.
New Zealand 1st Innings: 293 All Out (78.2 Overs). James Neesham 78, Mark Craig 46*, Ross Taylor 45, Kane Williamson 45; Sulieman Benn 26.2-1-93-5, Kemar Roach 18-2-61-4, Jason Holder 10-4-24-0, Shane Shillingford 13-0-53-0.
West Indies 1st Innings: 317 All Out (97.1 Overs). Kraigg Brathwaite 68, Kirk Edwards 58, Denesh Ramdin*+ 45, Chris Gayle 42; Neil Wagner 27-7-64-4, James Neesham 6.1-1-12-2, Trent Boult 23-5-71-2, Tim Southee 21-8-63-1.
New Zealand 2nd Innings: 123/3 (34 Overs). Kane Williamson 58*, Brendon McCullum* 23*, Hamish Rutherford 19, Ross Taylor 6; Kemar Roach 7-0-30-2, Jason Holder 5-2-9-1, Jerome Taylor 6-3-17-0, Sulieman Benn 13-0-44-0.
Stumps, Day 3
New Zealand 1st Innings
T Latham LBW Roach 14
H Rutherford c Chanderpaul b Roach 4
K Williamson c Darren Bravo b Benn 43
R Taylor c Benn b Roach 45
B McCullum* c Darren Bravo b Benn 31
J Neesham run out (Brathwaite/Shillingford) 78
BJ Watling+ c Gayle b Benn 1
T Southee b Benn 6
M Craig not out 46
N Wagner Ramdin b Roach 2
T Boult st Ramdin b Benn 12
Total: 293 All Out (78.2 Overs)
Extras: (b5, lb2, wd1, nb3) 11
Fall of Wickets: 1-17 (Rutherford), 2-28 (Latham), 3-102 (Williamson), 4-114 (Taylor), 5-68 (McCullum), 6-172 (Watling), 7-194 (Southee), 8-258 (Neesham), 9-277 (Wagner), 10-293 (Boult).
West Indies 1st Innings Bowling: J Taylor 11-2-55-0, K Roach 18-2-61-4, J Holder 10-4-24-0, S Benn 26.2-1-93-5, S Shillingford 13-0-53-0.
West Indies 1st Innings
C Gayle c Rutherford b Craig 42
K Brathwaite c Southee b Wagner 68
K Edwards c Rutherford b Southee 58
D Bravo c Williamson b Wagner 24
S Chanderpaul c wkp Watling b Wagner 15
D Ramdin*+ LBW Boult 45
J Holder c Watling b Neesham 38
K Roach c Watling b Boult 0
S Shillingford not out 10
S Benn b Wagner 1
J Taylor b Neesham 1
Total: 317 All Out (97.1 Overs)
Extras: (b2, lb4, w7, nb2) 15
Fall of Wickets: 1-79 (Gayle), 2-153 (Brathwaite), 3-197 (Bravo), 4-205 (Edwards), 5-240 (Chanderpaul), 6-277 (Ramdin), 7-277 (Roach), 8-313 (Holder), 9-316 (Benn), 10-317 (Taylor).
New Zealand 1st Innings Bowling: T Boult 23-5-71-2, T Southee 21-8-63-1, M Craig 18-2-90-1, N Wagner 27-7-64-4, K Williamson 2-0-11-0, J Neesham 6.1-1-12-2.
New Zealand 2nd Innings (Trail; 24)
T Latham c Shillingford b Roach 0
H Rutherford c Ramdin b Roach 19
K Williamson not out 58
R Taylor c Bravo b Holder 6
B McCullum not out 23
Total: 123/3 (34 Overs)
Extras: (b12, w5) 17
Fall of Wickets: 1-1 (Latham), 2-56 (Rutherford), 3-68 (Taylor).
West Indies 2nd Innings Bowling: J Taylor 6-3-17-0, K Roach 7-0-30-2, S Benn 13-0-44-0, J Holder 5-2-9-1, S Shillingford 3-2-11-0.
State of Match: New Zealand lead by 99 runs
Toss: New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat
Test Debut: Jason Holder (West Indies)
Umpires: Ian Gould (England) & Richard Illingworth (England)
TV Umpire: Rod Tucker (Australia)
Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (India)
Reserve Umpire: Gregory Brathwaite