West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Jamaica, 1st day August 2, 2012

Roach and Best make it West Indies' day


West Indies 11 for 0 trail New Zealand 260 (Taylor 60, Guptill 71, Roach 4-70) by 249 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

West Indies achieved what was expected of them after winning the toss and opting to bowl, that was to bowl the opposition out. Kemar Roach justified his captain's decision with a four-wicket haul, backed by Tino Best, to restrict the struggling New Zealand side to 260 on a Sabina Park pitch which offered something more to the seamers on the opening day than the surface at Antigua. New Zealand, though, brought it on themselves with a series of poor shots and as a result they could never keep West Indies under pressure for sustained periods.

The captain Ross Taylor said after the first Test that his team needed more centuries if they are to mount any pressure on the opposition. But once again, they turned in an underwhelming performance with the bat, with two batsmen, including Taylor himself, making half-centuries but failing to convert them. New Zealand had made decent progress till tea, but lost their last seven wickets for 99 runs to give West Indies the upper hand.

The overnight rain had left some moisture on the pitch and that prompted Darren Sammy to give his bowlers first use of the conditions. His seamers induced mistakes from the top order with an incisive opening spell. Best, in for the injured Ravi Rampaul, made an impact straightaway, beating the batsmen with pace and extra lift from a good length. There was no swing on offer but movement off the pitch, which kept the openers guessing. A couple of outside edges fell short of the packed slip cordon, Guptill took one on the chest, and it looked like a wicket was around the corner.

It came via Roach, though West Indies should consider themselves fortunate. Roach bowled it on the channel outside off, induced the half-hearted drive from BJ Watling, and the ball landed safely in Chris Gayle's hands at first slip. But as is routine with Roach, the umpires checked for the front-foot no-ball and replays showed his foot landing on the line, with a tiny part of his boot behind it, and sliding forward. The umpires went by the first point of contact and gave the bowler the benefit of the doubt. It wasn't the most convincing decision but Watling had to go.

There were no such doubts about the second wicket though. Four balls later, Brendon McCullum got a jaffa from Best, which held its line on the corridor outside the off stump and found a thin edge to the wicketkeeper. Taylor had a close call first ball when the ball kicked up, brushed his glove and shoulder, and dropped wide of point.

Guptill and Taylor, virtually opening the innings at 12 for 2, then weathered the storm. Taylor took advantage when Roach began to lose focus, driving the half volleys and spanking anything short and wide. Guptill scooped Sammy elegantly over long-on for six and Taylor too slapped one past point.

Taylor was more positive after lunch, pouncing on some wayward offerings by Roach and brought up his fifty with a pull. Taylor had set the platform to score a century, but threw it away at 60 off a rash stroke. He was harsh on anything short and wide outside off and after putting away a couple of boundaries wide of point, he got too ambitious against a Best delivery which cramped him for room. Denesh Ramdin pouched a thick outside edge and Best celebrated his second wicket with his usual chest-beating theatrics.

It increased the pressure on Guptill, then on 43. He was watchful for most part, as if settling to play a long innings, but was alert to anything bowled short. He clubbed Sunil Narine for a flat six over midwicket and brought up his third straight fifty of the series with a pull off Narine past square leg.

The fight went out after tea, giving West Indies another opening. Kane Williamson had worked his way to a patient 22 before playing a loose drive against the part-time off spin of Narsingh Deonarine, offering an easy catch to Sammy. Dean Brownlie did nothing to reverse his poor form on this tour, nicking Roach to the wicketkeeper without scoring. The responsibility only piled on Guptill, who now had to shepherd an inexperienced lower order, already depleted by the loss of Daniel Vettori.

A run-out added to New Zealand's woes. Guptill looked in discomfort, perhaps with his hamstring, but his partner Kruger van Wyk took the risk of pushing for a quick single. Van Wyk punched it to cover but Guptill, who was struggling to make it to the other end, couldn't beat the direct hit from Best. New Zealand had lost their mainstay and from then on it was a question of how quickly West Indies could wrap up the innings.

After losing three wickets for nine runs, the last four wickets added 90, perhaps the only silver lining in an otherwise poor session for the visitors. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner swung their bats around to take the score past 250. Roach picked up his third wicket when he had Southee edging to slip and later wrapped up the innings when Wagner miscued a pull to mid-on. New Zealand couldn't sneak in any wickets in the five overs before stumps. They will count on their four-man pace attack to take advantage of the conditions. Otherwise, it could be another Chris Gayle show.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • anthony on August 3, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    I agree with others that finally finally Gibson has rectified one of his mistakes. Rampaul has been an honest toiler the last 12 months with bat and ball. But he isnt quality enough to be in the side as either a batsmen or bowler. There simply must be an out and out quick like Best who is suddenly committed or even Edwards playing alongside Roach, with Narine and a 4th young pacer like Johnson to form the bowling line up with Sammy at 6th. With a batting line up of Gayle, Powell, Bravo jnr, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Sammy and Ramdin....I think 4 bowlers are ok

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Roach & Best can both hit 150, why isn't Edwards the 3rd seamer? Or Delorn Johnson? Those 4 would give WI a seam attack better than England's. Or Jerome Taylor/ Rampaul/ even Andre Russell?

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Just in case anyone in the WI committee, including Gibson, Sammy and the manager is reading these comments. You are not using Deonarine as a bowler. he is a genuine all rounder and it looks looks like he is a part time bowler or he is used only when Sammy wants to switch a bowler around. Look at his bowling averages since he came back in the team. Come on guys if you want to win this series give the man some work in the bowling area.

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Sammy Sammy Sammy can someone please tell me what this man is doing on a test side if this is the standard the WICB is setting to the future generation.We need at least 3 front line pace blowers and Sammy is taking up that other blower piick. Why for some strange reason does west indies cricket fail to progress in new strategies or technology. Right now we have a great group of guys to pick from and feel for some because the captain is taking up a pick, but in general the guys are doing well lets just hope for better management.

  • Mark on August 3, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Like Min2000, this has been a hard series to follow for a NZ fan - as hard as trying to fathom NZC & the selections. Our batting has been failing all series so what do they do? - drop our most experienced bowler. I still can't believe it. And Ross - be honest man. All this rubbish about "We wanted two fresh bowlers after Martin bowled a fair bit in the warm-up game and the first Test". Thats a pathetic lie. Wagner bowled 5 overs more in each of those games than CM. The problem has been lack of bowling. Now when the Phantom gets some overs under his belt they substitute him for a very raw attack with no senior bowler. It seems that the batsmen can fail with impunity but an experienced bowler who, while not bowling great in the first test, was the highest wicket taker pays the price . It seems show ponies who pick and choose when to play and don't produce are preferred over honest triers. I was getting up to follow them but no more. This debacle is not worth the loss of sleep.

  • Buntu on August 3, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Loving the new found heart & determination the Windies are showing, most specially the bowling of Roach & Best. This guys are showing sign of the Windies of yestayear...KEEP IT UP FELLAZ.

  • ethel on August 3, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Gibson as i have said on numerious occasions no batsman like to have 3 or 4 fast bowlers as an oposition. Then the big question is who are we going to leave out? let us start with Sammy since he cannot hold his place in any department : as a captain, fast bowler, a spinner, or even a batsman. Two months ago i was suggesting to my friend that sammy should learn to keepwicket if he wants to maintain his place in the side. Gibson, wake-up!

  • Mike on August 3, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    Good to see Gayle back in whites and Narine, Best and Roach doing well of late. There an emerging side, even if they are only beating a poor NZ side.

  • Ravi on August 3, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    Well done boys keep up the good work. Nice to see that Best is at it again.

  • Carl on August 3, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    Roach and Best = REAL QUICK, REAL WINDIES BOWLING! Good job guys, now its the batters turn!

  • No featured comments at the moment.