HAMILTON, New Zealand, CMC – Speedster Shannon Gabriel says West Indies were forced to reassess their approach in order to make inroads into New Zealand’s batting on yesterday’s opening day of the second Test.
He conceded the seam attack had not quite gotten their lengths right, allowing the Black Caps to take command at 154 for one, at one stage during the second session at Seddon Park.
However, the Windies hit back mainly through Gabriel and pacer Miguel Cummins, to limit the hosts to 286 for seven at the close.
“I think we were trying too much. We didn’t really assess the wicket well enough but after lunch we decided we wanted to be patient and luckily things happened for us throughout the rest of the day,” Gabriel told reporters.
“When we started this morning I think we bowled a little too full – myself I thought I was a little too full. I didn’t really assess the conditions well enough but as the day went along things got the better.”
Left-handed opener Jeet Raval top-scored with 84, Colin de Grandhomme chipped in with an aggressive 58, while captain Kane Williamson scored 43.
But the Windies prised out Raval and Williamson just before tea, snared Ross Taylor (16) and Henry Nicholls (13) just after the resumption before grabbing another couple wickets through Gabriel near the close.
Gabriel ended with three for 79 while Cummins bowled consistently all day to pick up two for 37.
“We always told ourselves once we soaked up the runs and bowled the ball back into the wicket, it was going to be a bit difficult to score runs and once we built that pressure, we knew that 90 per cent of the time a wicket was going to come so that was the plan,” Gabriel said of the Windies’ approach after lunch.
“I think most of the guys started well this morning. Just me, I didn’t start as well as I wanted to. Hats off to Raymon (Reifer), it was his first day of Test cricket and I think he bowled beautifully. The figures really don’t show it but I thought he went out there and stuck to his task.
“Cummins had a great day along with (Kemar) Roach, it’s just me that was flagging after the first [session]. I knew once I believed in myself and as patient, things were going to work out.”