Narine, Roach strike for WI
NORTH SOUND, Antigua – Two wickets, one apiece for Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach, put a bounce in the step of West Indies before tea in the first Digicel Test against New Zealand on Wednesday here.
At the break, New Zealand, choosing to bat, reached 159 for two in their first innings on the opening day at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground with Martin Guptill not out on 73 and the visitors’ captain Ross Taylor not out on six.
Off-spinner Narine made the breakthrough for the Windies about 40 minutes after lunch, when he had left-handed opener Daniel Flynn caught at backward point for 45 from a top-edged cut, ending an opening stand of 97 with Guptill.
Next over, a wide, half volley from Roach, the first ball of a new spell from the Media Centre End, was driven through cover to give Guptill his eighth boundary, carrying him to 50 from 107 balls.
Roach was unfortunate, when McCullum, on nine, fended a snorter over the slip fielders for his third boundary, but the fast bowler got him five overs later, when he was caught at mid-off for 25 from a mistimed drive.
But the remainder of the afternoon period unfolded with little or no incident, as the Caribbean side continued their hunt for more success.
Before lunch, West Indies endured a fruitless toil, as Guptill and Flynn strongly defied the home team from making early inroads into the Black Caps’ batting, as they reached 71 without loss on a hard, true pitch.
Before a modest crowd, the Windies had a handful of lbw appeals turned down, including an unsuccessful review, when Guptill was on 33, and TV replays showed the ball took an inside edge.
The home team bowlers were probably guilty of bowling too short, as Flynn and Guptill came alive following an early period of consolidation.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy conceded a couple of boundaries in his first over, allowing Flynn to get into stride with a drive through mid-off and a pull through mid-wicket.
Kemar Roach, returning to the West Indies line-up after leaving the tour of England early with injury, also allowed Guptill the luxury of a pair of boundaries in the first over of his second spell, when the lanky opener slapped him through extra cover and drove him straight.
Narine, whose off-spin bamboozled the Black Caps during the preceding Digicel Twenty20 and One-day Internationals, came under a bit of early pressure, when Guptill swung him over long-on for a six.
West Indies are seeking their first Test series victory over New Zealand for 16 years.
NEW ZEALAND 1st Innings
D. Flynn c Powell b Narine 45
M. Guptill not out 73
B. McCullum c Deonarine b Roach 25
*R. Taylor not out 6
Extras (b2, lb1, w1, nb6) 10
TOTAL (2 wkts) 159
K. Williamson, D. Brownlie, D. Vettori, +K. van Wyk, D. Bracewell, N. Wagner, C. Martin to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-97 (Flynn), 2-133 (McCullum)
Bowling: Rampaul 11-3-26-0 (w1); Roach 15-4-46-1 (nb5); *Sammy 13-5-33-0; Narine 17-6-44-1 (nb1); Samuels 3-1-7-0
WEST INDIES: C. Gayle, K. Powell, A. Fudadin, M. Samuels, S. Chanderpaul, N. Deonarine, +D. Ramdin, *D. Sammy, K. Roach, S. Narine, R. Rampaul
Toss: New Zealand
Umpires: R. Kettleborough, P. Reiffel
TV umpire: M. Erasmus
Match referee: R. Madugalle
Reserve umpire: J. Wilson