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Kiwis pile on runs at Sabina Park
When the Test match started, skipper Denesh Ramdin looked fresh and clean shaven as he walked out for his first match in charge of the West Indies. At the end of New Zealand's innings yesterday, he looked a forlorn figure who had grown a beard during the 1,047 balls he faced up to as wicketkeeper.
On a dead Sabina Park pitch and the x-factor Sunil Narine twiddling his thumbs in Arima, New Zealand rattled up 508 for seven declared with centuries from Kane Williamson (113) and Jimmy Neesham (107).
The visitors declared when Walting was dismissed at 4.14pm, leaving the West Indies to close on 19 without loss after nine overs. The regional side was lucky as Keiran Powell edged to first slip where Peter Fulton grassed a straight forward chance.
The Kiwis resumed on 240 for two and adopted the same tactic as the opening day. Williamson who had registered his sixth Test century on Day One, played doggedly, while Ross Taylor looked to find the gaps.
They progressed to 259 before Sulieman Benn delivered an arm ball to which the right handed Williamson shoulder arms only to hear the dreaded sound of timber falling. He faced 298 balls with 12 hits to the ropes.
Skipper Brendon McCullum never looked the class player he is while Taylor brought up half century off 113 balls with eight fours and seemed set to go on to a big one b before off-spinner Shane Shillingford tossed one up which he flicked chest high to Kirk Edwardsafter making 55.
McCullum’s uncomfortable stay was ended when Benn got one to bounce and turn, which he edged unto the chest of Denesh Ramdin before Gayle collected it at first slip. He scored seven off 17 deliveries with one four.
His dismissal represented a session which saw the visitors score 39 runs for the loss of three wickets.
Neesham and Bradly Watling then came together to prevent any further mishaps before the lunch van pulled up. They closed off the morning session at 299 for five - 59 runs scored for the loss of three wickets.
What transpired in the morning was totally different from what followed. Neesham, who slammed an unbeaten 137 on his Test debut, continued his magical run in his second match, becoming the first Kiwi to score back to back Test centuries in his first two matches. He and the plucky wicketkeeper/batsman Watling batted their team into a position of tremendous strength.
They added 201 runs off 361 balls and batted without alarm to take New Zealand past the 400-run mark. The last time the Kiwis posted over 400 runs against the West Indies in the Caribbean was 1996 when they scored 422 at Bridgetown in Barbados.
Neesham brought up his half century off 103 balls with five fours and two sixes and was soon followed by Watling who faced 116 balls, sending five over the ropes.
With the West Indies bowlers basically going through the motions, the duo took the score to 428 without being separated at the tea break. The second session realised 149 runs without a wicket falling.
Enter the final session and it was same old same old - leather chasing under 35 degree Jamaican heat. Neesham continued to pick the gaps and duly went on to record his second Test century - facing 159 balls and hitting 12 fours and two sixes. He was caught behind off Benn.
Walting fell just before the close for 89 off 204 balls with seven fours and a six and Tim Southee got 21 not out off seven balls when the declaration came.
West Indies vs N Zealand
N Zealand 1st Inns
T Latham c&b Shillingford 83
P Fulton c Ramdin b Taylor 1
K Williamson b Benn 113
R Taylor c Edwards b Shillingford 55
B McCullum c Gayle b Benn 7
J Neesham c Ramdin b Benn 107
B Watling c Powell b Shillingford 89
T Southee not out 21
Extras b19, lb6, w5, nb2 32
Total 7 wkts dec 508
Fall of wkts: 9, 174, 259, 277, 279, 480, 508.
Bowling: J Taylor 26-11-37-1 (2nb), K Roach 29-6-85-0 (1w), DM Bravo 1-0-2-0, S Benn 52-14-142-3, M Samuels 15-1-55-0, S Shillingford 46.3-7-145-3, C Gayle 5-0-17-0.
C Gayle not out 8
K Powell not out 11
Total without loss 19
Bowling: T Boult 5-2-11-0, T Southee 3-1-8-0, M Craig 1-1-0-0.