LINCOLN, New Zealand, CMC – Sunil Ambris wasted little time in pressing his claim for a spot in the West Indies Test side with an exhilarating, better than run-a-ball hundred against New Zealand A here yesterday.
The right-hander smashed a stroke-filled 153 while Shai Hope gathered a composed 110 as the Caribbean side amassed 451 for nine on the opening day of the three-day tour match at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
Roston Chase chipped in with 49, wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich scored 35 while captain Jason Holder got 31, to ensure the tourists’ domination in excellent conditions. West Indies had struggled early on, however, slumping to 45 for three in the morning session before the recovery came.
Impressive fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who finished with five for 67, removed both openers Kraigg Brathwaite (17) and Kieran Powell (7), before seamer Logan van Beek (2-60) accounted for Shimron Hetmyer (12).
Brathwaite fell half-hour into the session with the score on 28, nicking a defensive prod behind and the left-handed Hetmyer lasted nine balls before he was taken in the cordon by Todd Astle with 45 on the board.
Approaching the hour, Powell departed when he was lbw to Ferguson, leaving West Indies with a rebuilding job.
Hope, classy and composed, then inspired the Windies fightback, adding 81 for the fourth wicket with Chase and a further 155 for the sixth wicket with Ambris.
All told, the right-handed Hope faced 133 deliveries in 218 minutes and counted 20 fours and a six. Unbeaten on 20 at lunch with West Indies on 108 for three, he reached his half-century in the second session, to be 94 not out at tea. He raised three figures soon afterwards off 122 deliveries.
Chase, meanwhile, unbeaten on 41 at lunch, perished in the sixth over afterwards – caught at second slip by captain Tom Latham off Ferguson at 126 for four.
He was not out on 51 at tea and eventually brought up his landmark off a mere 85 balls with 18 fours and a six. On 247 for five at the last interval,
West Indies swiftly gathered 204 runs in the final session as Ambris went on a rampage against a tiring attack. The 24-year-old, who struck two hundreds in the recent Windies A series against Sri Lanka A in the Caribbean, displayed his superiority as he put on a further 89 with Dowrich for the seventh wicket and 53 for the eighth with Holder.