Radford invokes Leeds memories as Windies face daunting task

West Indies assistant coach, Toby Radford.

HAMILTON, New Zealand,  CMC – West Indies assistant coach Toby Radford was quick to invoke memories of the now famous Headingley run chase, after the Caribbean were handed a world-record target of 444 runs to win the second Test at Seddon Park.

Last August with the odds stacked agains them, the Windies remarkably chased down 322 on the final day of the second Test in Leeds to beat England by five wickets, with Shai Hope gathering a hundred and Kraigg Brathwaite, 90-odd.

Incidently, both batsmen were unbeaten at stumps on the third day here yesterday with West Indies tottering on 30 for two, and Radford said he was hoping the pair could repeat history.

“I think what we are wanting is a lot of fight and to really show what we can do,” the Englishman said.

“I’d love to see Kraigg and Shai do something similar to what they achieved at Headingley against England a couple of months ago. Bat long, get a couple of hundreds and show people what we can really do.

“Roston Chase has had a very good year, scored hundreds against Pakistan. It’s about doing it here, isn’t it?”

West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand yesterday, bowled out for 221 in the day’s third over in reply to the hosts’ 373, to concede a lead of 152 on first innings.

Ross Taylor then stroked a record-tying 17th Test hundred – 107 not out – and captain Kane Williamson got 54, as the Black Caps declared on 291 for eight.

With 40 minutes left to navigate in the final session, the Windies lost Kieran Powell (0) and Shimron Hetmyer (15) to find themselves needing miracle to evade defeat.

“We would have liked to go in tonight with no wickets down. Obviously it’s going to be a stiff task,” Radford admitted.

“It’s about individual performances, It’s their last opportunity in Test match cricket for a good number of months now. So I’m sure they’ll really want to finish the year with a personal milestone or go out on a bang, as well as a team effort.”

West Indies hold the world record for the highest run chase, overhauling 418 in Antigua 14 years ago. The record on New Zealand soil is 348, set by West Indies at Eden Park nearly half a century ago.

Though acknowledging the massive task, Radford said the Windies would not be simply hoping to survive.

“I think it’ll be ‘play hour by hour and session by session’, and break it down into manageable bits,” he explained.

“But [you] also still [want] be positive. You don’t just want to be batting to survive, you’ve still got to put bad balls away and still look positive at the crease and move positively.”

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