Samuels fails to stop Black Caps edging ahead
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Narsingh Deonarine gave West Indies a boost with two late wickets, after Marlon Samuels emphasised his batting rebirth with a fourth Test hundred in the face of a batting meltdown, which allowed New Zealand to nose ahead in the second Test yesterday here.
Part-time off-spinner Deonarine removed openers B.J. Watling and Martin Guptill in two overs that cost three runs, as the New Zealanders reached 59 for two in their second innings for an overall lead of 110 at the close on the second day.
This followed Samuels holding the Windies batting together, stroking his highest Test score of 123, as the Caribbean side were dismissed for 209 about 50 minutes after tea on the second day.
To the delight of crowd of mainly his compatriots at Sabina Park, Samuels reached his milestone from 164 balls with the first of his four sixes, an effortless inside-out drive over the top of extra cover off Tim Southee.
It was the second time his hometown fans had the chance to celebrate him scoring a hundred, following his undefeated 101 in the second One-day International against the same opponents last month.
To celebrate the landmark, Samuels struck consecutive sixes off the next two deliveries from Southee, following up with a lofted straight drive into the George Headley Stand and another lofted drive over long-off into the same structure next delivery to take West Indies over the 200-run threshold.
He then greeted the first ball of the next over from Doug Bracewell with a crunching pull into the Great Northern Stand to accomplish his highest Test score before he was the last batsman dismissed, when he was caught at deep cover from a flawed inside-out drive at a delivery from Bracewell. He batted 264 minutes, faced 169 balls, and struck 15 fours and four sixes.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy made 32 and was the only other batsman that passed 20, as New Zealand’s four-pronged, fast-medium bowling attack bowled with acute discipline.
Bracewell ended with 3-46 from 15.3 overs, Trent Boult finished with 3-58 from 17 overs, Neil Wagner grabbed 2-24 from 10 overs, and Southee captured 2-70 from 19 overs.
The Windies fast bowling attack, unlike New Zealand’s, failed to make inroads into the opposition batting, as Watling and Guptill put on 55 for the first wicket.
Kemar Roach was unfortunate with his first ball of a second spell from the Michael Holding End, when Kieran Powell dropped Watling on three at third slip.
Deonarine however, helped the home team end the day with a smile on their faces, when Watling was lbw for 11 moving too far inside the line to turn a delivery into the leg-side in the second-last over of the day, and Guptill was lbw for 42 playing back to a fast, full straight delivery in the final over.
Earlier, three cheap wickets – including Chris Gayle – had put West Indies under pressure, as they reached 62 for three at lunch.
After the Windies resumed on 11 without loss, opener Kieran Powell and Assad Fudadin fell in the first half-hour to Boult, and Gayle fell for eight to a brute of a delivery from Wagner in the final hour before lunch.
Powell failed to add to his overnight 10 before he edged to third slip, and Fudadin made five before he was lbw after the Black Caps reviewed South African umpire Marais Erasmus’ not-out verdict.
Gayle was strangely subdued throughout the 107 minutes he spent at the crease and survived a chance on five, when wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and first slip fielder Ross Taylor, the visitors’ captain, combined to muff an edge from the big left-hander in Southee’s third over.
The talismanic opener was kept on a tight rein by the New Zealand attack before he cuffed a short, rising delivery from Wagner, another left-arm fast-medium bowler, to backward point.
After lunch, Samuels took charge, reaching his 50 from 93 balls, when he slapped a short delivery from Wagner through widish mid-off for his ninth four.
Samuels remained unflappable, but there was instability at the other end with four wickets falling, leaving West Indies scrambling on 163 for seven.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was caught at first slip for nine, nibbling at a delivery from Southee that moved across him, and Narsingh Deonarine soon followed, caught behind for a duck, playing forward defensive to Boult, leaving West Indies 83 for five.
Denesh Ramdin arrived and stemmed the fall of wickets, putting on 30 with Samuels before he was caught at gully for 15 from a leading edge to a short, rising delivery from Wagner.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy played his usual cameo, striking six fours from just 29 balls before he was lbw to Southee playing across a full-length delivery that struck him on the boot. The decision was confirmed, when New Zealand reviewed Australian umpire Paul Reiffel’s not-out verdict.
After tea, the West Indies decline continued unchecked with suspense surrounding Samuels’ march to his hundred.
Sunil Narine made one before he gave a chest-high catch to second slip off Bracewell, and Kemar Roach failed to score before he fell in similar fashion after the same bowler softened him up with a couple of well-directed bouncers aimed at the body – but Tino Best had little to do as Samuels hastened to his hundred.
West Indies lead the two-Test series 1-0, following a nine-wicket victory in the first Test, which ended last Monday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
They are making a bid to complete their first series sweep, since Ridley Jacobs’ side beat Bangladesh 2-0 close to a decade ago.