New Zealand claimed the upper hand in the second Test yesterday, restricting the West Indies to 158-4 with key batsmen Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul back in the pavilion.
At the end of the rain-abbreviated second day, in which only 63.1 of the scheduled 90 overs were bowled, the West Indies trailed New Zealand’s first innings total of 441 by 283 runs.
Only Kirk Edwards and Marlon Samuels provided any stern resistance with well compiled half centuries. Samuels was not out on 50 and Narsingh Deonarine was on 11.
New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, in only his fourth Test, made the crucial breakthroughs for his team, removing first Test double-centurion Bravo for 4 and Edwards for 55.
“We’re in a good position,” Anderson said. “Getting four wickets is obviously nice. [Conceding] a few less runs would have been nice as well, but if we can pick a couple up early tomorrow [today] then we’re on top.”
West Indies captain Darren Sammy felt his side had lost two more wickets than was good for them, but he was more critical of the way his bowlers failed to contain the New Zealand batsmen.
“We didn’t bowl well at all. It wasn’t consistent enough, especially with the new ball, and it cost us and we’re in the position we find ourselves now.”
The West Indies made a positive start to their innings as Edwards and Kieran Powell progressed to 46 with New Zealand new-ball partners Trent Boult and Tim Southee moving the ball around and finding plenty to appeal about, but failing to persuade the umpires.
Southee was eventually rewarded with an LBW decision against Powell on 21, while Boult came back in his second spell to remove Chanderpaul.
Bravo, unable to reproduce his marathon innings of the first Test, faced 12 balls before he edged Anderson to Peter Fulton at second slip.
Edwards, who had looked assured on his way to a half-century, was undone by a full Anderson delivery, which he tried to turn to the leg-side, but sent a leading edge to Hamish Rutherford at cover.
Anderson, who has figures of 2-20, helped remove Chanderpaul for six when he took a fine catch at cover point.
New Zealand resumed the day at 307-6 and added a further 134 runs to be all out on the stroke of lunch.
It was an impressive total on a wicket rated favorable to the quick bowlers, although the West Indies were guilty of too many short and wide deliveries.
Wicketkeeper B.J. Watling was the mainstay of the late attack which ended when he was removed for 65.
Watling and Southee opened the day with 27 runs in 26 balls before Southee was dismissed, caught at deep square leg for 21.
Ish Sodhi chimed in with 27 off 35 balls in a cameo peppered with quick singles before he was caught behind off Tino Best, who was quick to go from hero to villain.
Best removed Neil Wagner with his next ball to be on a hat-trick, only for Boult to crush those hopes.
He not only avoided the hat-trick, but in the next over he skied a Shane Shillingford delivery, which Best spilled over the ropes, missing the chance to wrap up the innings to instead concede a six.
Boult was particularly severe on Shillingford, belting 14 off one over, as he and Watling set a record 10th-wicket partnership for New Zealand against the West Indies of 58.
Best was the most successful of the West Indies bowlers, with 4-110.
The day’s play was twice disrupted by rain, with the start delayed by 75 minutes and the entire middle session washed out.