Jacobs makes Kiwi batsmen struggle ahead of first Test

FALMOUTH, Trelawny, CMC – New Zealand’s batsmen had a disappointing outing on the opening day of their final three-day warm-up match as they struggled against leg-spinner Damion Jacobs here yesterday.

The visitors were reduced to 203 for nine at tea by a Jamaica Select XI, forcing a declaration with the hope of having their bowlers get a critical bowl ahead of next Sunday’s start of the first Test against West Indies.

However, persistent rain washed out the final session, robbing the tourists of precious time in the middle at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Complex.

Kane Williamson top scored with 47, BJ Watling got 30 and James Neesham, 28 not out, but all the other batsmen struggled.

Jacobs was the best bowler with four for 45 while pacers Chris Powell (2-21) and Derval Green (2-26), finished with two wickets apiece.

Powell knocked over both openers Tom Latham (16) and Hamish Rutherford (10) cheaply before Williamson and Ross Taylor, 23, put on 49 for the third wicket.

Latham was taken at mid-off by Jamie Merchant driving while Rutherford was struck in front, pushing forward.

Williamson hit six fours off 77 balls in just under two hours at the crease before falling to a catch at the wicket off Green.

The partnership proved the best of the innings as thereafter, wickets fell regularly as Jacobs ran through the middle order.

Watling seemed to be staging a late order rally, with a busy knock off 30 balls, but was bowled sweeping at Jacobs, to be sixth out.

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