Windies take first-day honours against New Zealand
Port of Spain: Determined bowling and careless batting combined to give the West Indies the advantage in dismissing New Zealand for 221 on the opening day of the second Test at Queen`s Park Oval on Monday.
Trailing in the three-match series after losing the first Test in Jamaica by 186 runs, the hosts will resume on the second morning at six for one after Trent Boult uprooted the off-stump of experienced opening batsman Chris Gayle during the seven overs the home side faced befrore the close.
Jerome Taylor`s rehabilitation as a Test fast bowler took a few more strides forward, the Jamaican paceman claiming four for 34 to emerge with the best figures on a pitch that offered assistance to the bowlers.
However, the tourists` captain, Brendon McCullum, appeared fully justified in electing to bat first after winning the toss with the Black Caps cruising along at 120 for one early in the afternoon session.
Tom Latham compiled his third consecutive half-century of the series, the phlegmatic left-handed opener occupying the crease for almost four hours in getting to a top-score of 82.
And with the West Indies letting a number of chances and half-chances slip through their fingers during the first two sessions, New Zealand looked poised for another formidable first innings total.
But it never materialised and the luck eventually turned the West Indies` way as New Zealand lost nine wickets for 101 runs, the last six sliding for just 29 in an unexpected capitulation.
Former captain Ross Taylor, the prime beneficiary of the sloppy catching in a bizarre period of play just before tea when three opportunities were missed, finished unbeaten on 45 while Kane Williamson contributed 42 in a 104-run second-wicket partnership with Latham.It was Williamson`s dismissal, caught at fine-leg off a top-edged hook at Shannon Gabriel, that started to bring the West Indies back into the match.
The burly paceman added the scalp of tail-ender Mark Craig but the perseverance of spinner Sulieman Benn, who snared three for 73 off 28.4 overs, contributed significantly to New Zealand`s demise.
Ever the competitor and keen to be involved in any aspect of the game, the lanky Barbadian held a superb catch at gully that ended Latham`s diligent vigil off the bowling of Kemar Roach.
Benn will also be expecting to contribute a few runs on the second morning as he resumes as nightwatchman in partnership with opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite.
Brathwaite was one of three changes from the first Test side, the others being Gabriel and Jermaine Blackwood, the 22-year-old middle-order batsman who becomes the 298th player to represent the West Indies at Test level.
New Zealand made only one change from the victorious first Test team, Hamish Rutherford replacing out-of-form opener Peter Fulton, although the left-hander failed to make full use of the opportunity, falling for three to a catch at first slip off Taylor after half-an-hour`s play.
His swift demise extended the Rutherford family`s poor record at the ground. His father Ken endured the indignity of a "pair" when making his debut on the 1985 tour, the last time New Zealand played a Test match at the venue.