New Zealand closes on victory in 2nd test vs West Indies

PTI, Dec 13, 2020, 10:27 AM IST

Wellington: Neil Wagner broke a developing third-wicket partnership between John Campbell and Shamarh Brooks before tea on the third day of the second cricket test against the West Indies on Sunday to push New Zealand closer to an innings and series win.

Campbell posted his second half century and highest test score, sharing an 89-run partnership with Brooks in an attempt to rally the West Indies as they followed on 329 runs behind.

Brooks was first to go, caught by wicketkeeper B.J. Watling from the Wagner’s bowling to end a partnership which defied New Zealand for 24 overs. Campbell made 68, beating his previous best of 55 against Afghanistan, before his dismissal by Kyle Jamieson raised the prospect of a New Zealand win within three days.

At tea the West Indies were 158-5, still 171 runs behind after being forced to follow on 329 behind New Zealand. Captain Jason Holder was 10 not out and had joined Jermaine Blackwood who was 16.

Blackwood was the top-scorer with 69 in the West Indies’ first innings and with a century in the second innings of the first test which New Zealand won by an innings and 134 runs.

While the West Indies produced some resistance Sunday, batting remained in overcast conditions which allowed the ball to swing. Tim Southee was in his element, swinging the ball both ways while Wagner threatened buy bowling full and across the right handers.

Jamieson was also effective, maintaining an exacting line and bring the additional threat of bounce. He dismissed Roston Chase for a duck for the second time in the match. In the first innings Jamieson bowled Chase first ball as he narrowly missed a hat trick.

The West Indies resumed Sunday at 124-8, still 336 runs behind New Zealand”s commanding first innings of 460.

Southee took both of the remaining first-innings wickets, finishing with 5-32 as New Zealand needed only 4.4 overs and 20 minutes to end the innings. In doing so, he joined Jamieson who took 5-34 on Saturday, marking only the third occasion New Zealand bowlers have completed five-wicket bags in the same innings of a test.

Jamieson’s was his second five-wicket bag in four tests and Southee’s his 11th. Southee now has 294 test wickets and is close to becoming the third New Zealander after Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori to take 300 wickets in tests.

Trent Boult went wicketless in the first innings but made up with two wickets in the same over early in the second.

West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Campbell seemed to be building a solid opening partnership and had scored 41 when Boult dismissed Brathwaite in the 12th over. He then removed Darren Bravo three balls later with a superb bouncer which the batsman gloved to wicketkeeper B.J. Watling.

Conditions Sunday were cooler than on second day, windy and overcast, but the ball which was 52 overs old at the start of play still swung a little. It was enough to catch out overnight batsman Joshua da Silva who was forced to play at a full ball from Southee which swung away and took the edge, giving Watling his first catch of the day.

Southee then wrapped up the first innings by bowling the last man, Shannon Gabriel, for 2.

The West Indies” top order have found conditions unfamiliar and challenging in New Zealand. They seldom play on green pitches which seam as much as those in the current two-test series.

The tourists haven”t yet been able to reach 250 in any of their innings in the series to date. They were dismissed for 138 and 247 in the first test at Hamilton which New Zealand won by an innings and 134 runs to lead the series 1-0.

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