NZ-Windies Test evenly poised | india | Hindustan Times
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NZ-Windies Test evenly poised

The outcome of the first Test between New Zealand and the West Indies hung on a knife edge at the close of the second day's play at Auckland.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 16:00 IST
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The outcome of the first Test between New Zealand and the West Indies hung on a knife edge at the close of the second day on Friday, but an outright result seemed inevitable as wickets tumbled regularly.

New Zealand held a 116-run lead, but with only six second innings wickets in hand and first innings century-make Scott Styris already back in the pavillion.

After dismissing the West Indies for 257 in their first innings, New Zealand claimed a slender 18-run lead.

But any psychological advantage quickly disappeared as their top order again failed to establish any partnership of note and at stumps they were 98 for four in their second innings.

Opener Hamish Marshall fell cheaply, and just when Jamie How and Peter Fulton offered some hope by carrying the score through to 66 for one, the West Indies broke through with three quick wickets to wrest back the initiative.

How reached 37 before he skied Ian Bradshaw and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin turned and ran 30 metres to take the catch. Fulton was bowled by Edwards for 28 and Styris hooked Edwards down to Bradshaw on the boundary to be out for five.

Stephen Fleming, who survived a dropped catch down the leg side before scoring and later edged three balls through the gully cordon, had progressed to 19 by stumps with night watchman James Franklin on three.

New Zealand kept back top order batsman Nathan Astle, who did not field either during the West Indies first innings, as he recovered from two blows to the helmet from Edwards during his first innings knock of 51.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo had threatened to carry the West Indies to a first innings advantage in their reply to New Zealand's 275.

They salvaged an early collapse to put on 89 runs for the sixth wicket before Sarwan was tempted once too often into the hook shot by Shane Bond and was caught by James Franklin for 62.

It was the third time in Sarwan's Test career that he has been dismissed when attempting to hook Bond.

His solid partnership with Bravo was timely for the West Indies as they came together after their most senior batsmen— Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul— had both failed.

The much awaited match-up of the two premier players in the Test, world record batsman Lara and New Zealand speedster Bond, lasted just one ball.

Lara, who was unavailable for the recent one-day series, tried to dominate Bond from the start but succeeded only in hooking the ball straight to reserve fielder Carl Cachopa at square leg to be out for five.

Chanderpaul stayed around for 23 balls to reach 13 before he nicked a delivery heading down leg side from James Franklin and was well caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.

With Sarwan's departure, Dwayne Smith joined Bravo and they added a further 58 runs in 88 balls to take the West Indies within striking distance of the New Zealand total.

But the dismissal of Bravo for 59, his fourth half century in 10 Tests, took the sting out of the innings and spinner Daniel Vettori mopped up the tail with two wickets for seven runs from seven overs.

Chris Martin was the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers with three for 80.

Scoreboard:

New Zealand 1st innings: 275, West Indies 1st innings(51 for three overnight): C Gayle c McCullum b Styris 25, D Ganga c How b Martin 20, I Bradshaw c How b Styris 0, R Sarwan c Franklin b Bond 62, B Lara c sub (Cachopa) b Bond 5, S Chanderpaul c McCullum b Franklin 13, D Bravo c Bond b Martin 59, D Smith c McCullum b Martin 38, D Ramdin c&b Vettori 9, F Edwards c McCullum b Vettori 1, J Taylor not out 4, Extras: (lb-7, w-1, nb-13) 21, Total: (all out) 257.

Fall of wkts: 1-47, 2-48, 3-49, 4-60, 5-90, 6-179, 7-237, 8-248, 9-252.

Bowling: Bond 19-4-57-2, Franklin 21-4-83-1, Martin 17-1-80-3, Styris 7-1-23-2, Vettori 7.2-3-7-2.

New Zealand 2nd innings: H Marshall c Ganga b Bradshaw 1, J How c Ramdin b Bradshaw 37, P Fulton b Edwards 28, S Fleming not out 19, S Styris c Bradshaw b Edwards 5, J Franklin not out 3, Extras (lb-1, w-1, nb-3) 5, Total: (for 4 wkts) 98.

Fall of wkts: 1-11, 2-66, 3-73, 4-88.

Bowling: Edwards 10-3-27-2, Bradshaw 13-2-34-2, Taylor 1-0-6-0, Gayle 4-0-15-0, Smith 6-2-15-0

Toss: West Indies. Umpires: Daryl Harper (AUS), Rudi Koertzen (RSA). Match referee: Mike Proctor (RSA).