New Zealand v West Indies, 3rd Test, Hamilton, 1st day December 19, 2013

Ramdin, Chanderpaul revive WI

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Ramdin, Chanderpaul restored spirit

West Indies 289 for 6 (Ramdin 107, Chanderpaul 94*, Anderson 3-25) v New Zealand
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It is their collapses that are spectacular these days, and West Indies didn't disappoint on that front again, losing 4 for 9 to convert a solid start of 77 for 1 to 86 for 5. But what followed was even more spectacular, and substantial. Denesh Ramdin and Shivnarine Chanderpaul stunned New Zealand with a sixth-wicket partnership of 200 that came at just over four an over. Ramdin's exit late in the day after his fourth Test hundred gave New Zealand some respite, but Chanderpaul was closing in on his 29th century, and West Indies had two specialist spinners and two competent part-timers to exploit a slow pitch which afforded turn and bounce for slow bowlers even on day one.

Just under half an hour of typical chaos after lunch when those four wickets fell seemed to justify Brendon McCullum's decision to bowl. But the relative comfort with which West Indies batted on either side of that short period showed that the Seddon Park pitch had been of little help to New Zealand.

There was some swing for large parts of the day, and the occasional seam, but under mostly bright sunshine, the surface lacked the bite that had been there in Wellington. New Zealand weren't as disciplined as they had been in the previous Test. Ramdin and Chanderpaul were never tied down, and hit boundaries freely, helped along by some uncharacteristically sloppy New Zealand fielding and catching.

Ramdin was put down twice on 57 and 92 at midwicket and short cover, and Chanderpaul escaped with several airy nudges that just beat leg gully. Both batsmen took their chances, and prospered. Ramdin was imperious through cover and point, driving the fast bowlers at will for fours. The off-side infield would think they had an opportunity, but by the time someone dived or stuck out his hand, the ball would have sped towards the boundary. Ramdin repeatedly unsettled the legspinner Ish Sodhi, slog-sweeping and pulling him powerfully.

Chanderpaul was troubled by Sodhi's turn and bounce initially, the fielder at leg gully always in with a chance. But he survived, and drove the quick bowlers smoothly down the ground. New Zealand tried the short ball often against Chanderpaul, with a deep square leg, fine leg and leg gully, but he took them on, pulling confidently.

There was a flurry of boundaries just before and after the second new ball was taken, before Ramdin edged Corey Anderson behind in the 87th over to fall for 107. The previous wicket had gone 299 balls ago, when New Zealand had found themselves on top, out of nowhere.

West Indies showed again they could collapse regardless of the pitch, conditions or bowling. Kraigg Brathwaite, playing his first Test since April 2012 in place of Darren Bravo, had helped the visitors navigate the first session for the loss of only Kieran Powell, who had only himself to blame for trying an upper-cut while swaying away from a bouncer. Brathwaite, dropped on 13 and 15, and Powell had survived for more than an hour and put on 41.

It was Tim Southee who kickstarted the drama soon after lunch. Brathwaite had been tentative often but had survived through some pluck and some fortune to proceed to 45. But when Southee dug it in short, Brathwaite's awkward style conspired to send the ball to gully. Southee was bowling some big outswingers now, and Kirk Edwards feathered one of them behind while trying to leave it, and was given out after New Zealand reviewed. Marlon Samuels flayed irresponsibly at his ninth delivery to edge to gully for a duck and Narsingh Deonarine missed a clip to be caught in front.

Yet again, it was down to Chanderpaul, and he wasn't going to throw it away easily on such a pitch. Refreshingly, even Ramdin wasn't willing to.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • wapuser on December 19, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    Chanderpaul,always has the will to do well. He is a great cricketer. WI please try and draw this one.

  • Mekkayel on December 19, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    What are you talking about, Kirk Edwards has performed, he scored 2 half tons upon his return after a year of absence, more than Powell or the out of form Gayle had done, and he's not even an opening batsman. The way I see it Kirk will be at no 3 from now on, bravo at 4 and Samuels demoted to 6 or dropped

  • SwingandSeam on December 19, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    @Farooz Mohammed. Good point about Samuels. He has not been the same player since getting hit in the head. Hope he can get his confidence back because he is probably the most talented player in the West Indies team.

  • jimmyvida on December 19, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    Ramdin has been batting very well lately. His technique is up there. He should be more consistent in the future. Unless NZ get Chanders early, WI can post a 400-500 total. Can WI Draw the series? We'll see, continuing today.

  • dummy4fb on December 19, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    Finally, something to cheer about, thanks to Chanderpaul getting some support from Brathwaite and more so Ramdin. Now if only Sammy can deliver with the bat and ball, we may have a game yet.

  • android_user on December 19, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Shiv should be in the one day squad

  • JermanSoldier on December 19, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Ramdin must be consistent though, so must be all of the WI batsmen.We have got lot of talent and technique in guys like Jr. Bravo, Powell, Brathwaite, Ramdin, etc. But none were performing consistently. This could also be a juncture in Ramdin's career, as he could be possibly the future WI test captain, once Sammy is sacked. He has the experience, but must deliver consistently. I don't think Jr. Bravo will be appointed as the captain, because just like Lara, he is not captaincy material. Kirk Edwards has also not performed and is not a permanent part of the test squad. That makes Ramdin the perfect choice. Sammy must captain in T20s, Sr. Bravo in ODIs and Ramdin in tests. Thats the way forward for WI.

  • diehardINDIANcricketfan on December 19, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    chanders you beauty. Cant imagine you are still playing with such an ease. I remember the 2000 series when you visited India under Carl Hooper. You were the most dangerous batsman more than lara or hooper. We used to be more happy for your wicket then any other batsman. you still amaze me as you did back then. Thank you for entertaining us

  • dummy4fb on December 19, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    Really don't know how Deonarine could play in the team, he basically is not even a club class player in the first place,as a spinner I don't think he is capable of taking wickets even in a street cricket games. The WI is really going to find very difficult in getting somebody to take the place of Chanderpaul once he retire's,a man who has been there in the WI team many a times to save them in time of need.

  • dummy4fb on December 19, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Wonderful fight back West Indies. Sammy needs to play a captain's knock tomorrow to get us further out of the woods. Keep going fellas. We can beat NZ, they are not as good as we have made them look in this series.

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