West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Jamaica, 3rd day August 4, 2012

Samuels, spinners give West Indies the edge


West Indies 209 and 135 for 4 (Samuels 52, Chanderpaul 20*) need a further 71 runs to beat New Zealand 260 and 154 (Brownlie 35, Deonarine 4-37, Narine 3-19)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The balance shifted in favour of West Indies as they were just 71 adrift of closing out the Test and the series with six wickets in hand going into what could be the final day of the game. Their spinners, led by Narsingh Deonarine set it up by bowling New Zealand out for 154, setting a target of 206. For the second time in the match, Marlon Samuels held the key for West Indies as his half-century gave the hosts the edge after a shaky start. Samuels' wicket late in the day gave New Zealand an opening, but Shivnarine Chanderpaul's presence gave West Indies a sense of security.

Deonarine turned out to be the surprise package on the third morning as he added two more wickets to his overnight tally to finish with 4 for 37. It was the same old story for New Zealand as their batsmen were guilty of throwing it away and none of them seemed to have the patience to grind it out for long periods and wear the bowlers down. The pitch offered something for the spinners and seamers but it wasn't spiteful.

Like Kemar Roach did in the final day of the first Test in Antigua, picking up quick wickets in a decisive passage of play, Tino Best signalled the start of West Indies' dominance this morning with a double-strike in one over. The pressure created by those two wickets stalled New Zealand's resistance and from then on there was no recovery from the visitors.

Deonarine, a part-time offspinner, comfortably outbowled the lead spinner Sunil Narine. That Deonarine bowled a 17-over spell, giving little away, showed the confidence Darren Sammy had in him. He wasn't afraid to flight the ball, and the batsmen were circumspect with their foot movement, not getting fully forward to smother the spin. Though Deonarine deserved his wickets, New Zealand will not be too happy with the fact that they allowed a part-timer put them under pressure for such a sustained period.

Best removed the nightwatchman Neil Wagner with a snorter and two balls later, Ross Taylor slashed to the keeper, mirroring his dismissal from the first innings. Brendon McCullum was Deonarine's third victim, offering a bat-pad catch to forward short leg. Deonarine had time to sneak in one more before lunch, when he had Kane Williamson driving which induced an outside edge to Sammy at slip for the second time in the match. It was like re-running the tapes. West Indies set the trap for the aggressive Kruger van Wyk by keeping a fielder in the deep for the slog and he succumbed.

Doug Bracewell and Dean Brownlie resisted for a brief period after lunch with a stand of 37. Their stand helped push the lead past 200 but they couldn't stretch it by much to intimidate West Indies.

Chris Gayle got the chase off to a rollicking start by walking down the track to Trent Boult in the first over and smashing him over deep extra cover. But Boult pitched one up and held its line to trap Gayle in front of the off stump. Gayle immediately reviewed it, but it was a desperate call from a batsman hoping for a second chance to make amends for his first-innings failure. Kieran Powell played across the line to Tim Southee and was also struck in line with the stumps, leaving West Indies at a worrying 20 for 2 in the fourth over.

Samuels restored order with some crunching drives off the front foot, but he too flirted with danger outside the off stump. But the bowlers could have done with better support from the fielders though. One lapse that could prove very costly for New Zealand was the dropped catch by BJ Watling at gully, giving Samuels a reprieve at 20 just before tea. It also didn't help when Bracewell overran the ball at third man and conceded a boundary, giving West Indies bonus runs.

Post tea, Samuels and Assad Fudadin settled on building a partnership. The seamers were guilty at times by giving Fudadin scoring opportunities by bowling at the pads. Samuels was solid with his drives down the ground and steered the ball with ease past the slips.

There was a moment of celebration for the Jamaicans at the ground as they watched - on the giant screen - one of their own, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finish in pole position in the Women's 100m sprint at the London Olympics. On resumption, the bowlers managed to keep Fudadin quiet by bowling consistently on the channel outside off. Sure enough, impatience got the better of him as he chopped Wagner onto his stumps, driving away from the body.

Samuels slowed down as he approached his fifty, and he had all but achieved his aim of remaining unbeaten till stumps. In a rare lapse of concentration, he slashed at a Bracewell delivery outside off which he should have left alone, and Taylor showed good reflexes at slip to send him back. There were no further alarms for the hosts as Roach and Chanderpaul saw off the last few overs.

West Indies ended as favourites to wrap up the game, but it could be a different story if New Zealand's seamers can reproduce their form and consistency from the first innings to pull off an unlikely win. However, what could thwart either team's victory bid is the tropical storm Ernesto, which is expected to hit Jamaica on Sunday.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicholas on August 5, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    Another great win for WI. Chanderpaul emotionless as ever, but still... well played.

  • Nicholas on August 5, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    I suppose Roach will be classed as an all-rounder now in the player rankings after this wonderful knock...

  • Carl on August 5, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    yocasi, yes, I did. But he still isn't good enough to bat at six. Before you reply, know this...I am a Sammy fan, and I believe that he has done great things for West Indies cricket. And will continue to do so. My point, or rather my observation, was that he isn't taking wickets now. Support is needed once Roach and Best have bowled.

  • Dummy4 on August 5, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    I am a west indian, Sammy is the man to lead the team. Gayle, Sarwan, Chanderpaul all led the side and were not good at it at all. sammy did what they could not have done which is to play with pride and intelligence. Not for money nor fame. again, Sammy was there when we need someone the most, he is responsible for the good in the side now. He can bat a little, bowl and feild. and his greatest stregnht is his captaincy. I hope samuel learn from this because he his my next captain, not Gayle even though he his my batsman.

  • Dummy4 on August 5, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    if u have a pack of big strong dogs and no leader to harness them, what good are they, then if u get someone to control and lead them, even if he strikes no fear into you but the fact that he has full command of the bigger stronger dogs makes him and them more dangerous to all comers...loyalty and passion...that is what gave sammy his place and over the last 18 months all his numbers have improved especially in the batting...until a more suitable captain is born or made...lets help the guy help us get back to where we were or pretty damn close

  • Jeremy on August 5, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Great fightback by the WI. Gayle failed in both innings, but Samuels has done well. Chanderpaul should be able to steer them home with 6 wickets in hand, but it'll be a nervous 70-odd runs to negotiate.

  • stuart on August 5, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    good to see Tino back.He is a whole hearted cricketer and you can never fault his heart

  • Axe on August 5, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Playing spinners has always been a mystery for most of the batsmen who play decent on Green pitches. And other teams take advantage of it.

  • James on August 5, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Best has played well recently, but still too erratic for me. Sammy does not really justify his place in the team as a bowler, but contributes more with the bat than some of the top order barsmen. Delorn Johnson should come into the side and maybe Sammy bats at No 6. Deonarine is a also a very handy all rounder with an excellent bowling average. This game is still in the balance. A lot depends on Chanderpaul..and the weather.

  • Hiren on August 5, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    No one is interested in watchin two "C-Grade" teams fight it out for the 8/9th position in the ICC rankings!!! ..... Everyone's watchin the Eng vs SA match ONLY !!!

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