WI v NZ, 2nd Test, Jamaica, 3rd day August 5, 2012

Weather puts damper on chance of result

Subash Jayaraman in Jamaica

West Indies need 71 runs with six wickets in hand and two full days to go to wrap up their Test series against New Zealand 2-0, but they will hope that the tropical storm Ernesto, expected to hit Jamaica on Sunday, gives them enough time to knock off those runs. After lashing the Windward Islands over the past few days, affecting Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and the Grenadines, Ernesto is making its way towards Jamaica, and is expected to bring rains and heavy gusts of wind on days four and five.

As Ernesto moves towards the western Caribbean, "a region with lower wind shear and warmer water temperatures", it is expected to strengthen further. High winds, rain and thunderstorms are predicted for the Kingston area for Sunday and Monday. Some locals say there haven't been elaborate emergency procedures put in place, which could suggest they are not expecting the full fury of a hurricane, but it is still likely to bring rains, putting play in serious doubt.

The weather was perhaps at the back of Chris Gayle's mind when he started the chase of 206 with a first-over six. West Indies took 19 off the first two overs, but Trent Boult and Tim Southee sent back the openers to slow the charge. Although Marlon Samuels, centurion from the first innings and the one batsman who seemed to be at ease on this pitch, got another rapid start, New Zealand were able to apply the brakes on the scoring again with two further wickets.

Only 79 came off 31 overs in the last session of the day. If the weather does deny West Indies a win, they will be left wondering whether they could have been more urgent in that phase, coming close enough to the target by stumps on day three so as to be able to ask for the extra half hour to finish the game.