West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port of Spain, 1st day June 16, 2014

Jerome Taylor, Benn restrict New Zealand to 221


West Indies 6 for 1 trail New Zealand 221 (Latham 82, J Taylor 4-34, Benn 3-73) by 215 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The sight of the green surface at the Queen's Park Oval was a welcome change after the slow-and-low pitch in Sabina Park but it appeared there was not much of a change in the script. New Zealand chose to bat, lost an early wicket, then Tom Latham and Kane Williamson laid anchor and put on a century stand as West Indies' bowlers struggled to make impact.

However, just when it seemed it was slipping away, two wickets in the second session sparked a resurgence from West Indies. New Zealand, after being 159 for 3 at tea, capitulated to lose their last seven wickets for 62 runs in a dramatic last session.

Sulieman Benn, the lone spinner in the West Indies XI, trapped Brendon McCullum plumb in front with the second delivery after tea. That wicket set the tone as the bowlers applied relentless pressure from both ends and forced batsmen into false shots. Jimmy Neesham slashed a Jerome Taylor delivery to first slip, BJ Watling offered a loose poke soon after to be caught behind and then Ish Sodhi was caught at slip too, all in the space of seven runs.

Ross Taylor scratched around for an 80-ball 45, but his stay lacked conviction as a bulk of his runs came through iffy shots. As he stood circumspect in the middle, he witnessed helplessly the disintegration of the innings that had started promisingly with Latham scoring yet another half-century.

Jerome Taylor, playing his first Test series since 2009, was the pick of the West Indies bowlers with a probing spell of 4 for 34 and although he lacked the same level of support in the first half of the day, the other three bowlers rallied behind him later.

The turnaround happened when Latham, who had looked set to breach the 100-mark for the first time in Tests, edged a Kemar Roach delivery to gully at the stroke of tea, ending a 163-ball innings during which he had showed no signs of flinching in his concentration.

The remaining overs in the session produced nervous moments for the batsmen; Ross Taylor was reprieved off the last two balls of the session from Roach, first by Denesh Ramdin, who didn't go for a thick outside edge, then by Kirk Edwards, who dropped a simple chance to his left at short mid-on.

In the third session, there were no let-offs as West Indies tightened their loose ends: Roach upped his pace, Jerome Taylor bowled fuller lengths and got the ball to move away, Benn kept the batsmen on their toes with his arm ball, Gabriel firmly stood at the door preventing an escape and all catches were swallowed by the fielders.

The way the innings finished must have left the bowlers wondering what could have been had they not been lax in the first half of the day. Jerome Taylor and Roach used the conditions to their advantage, getting the ball to swing and seam with decent bounce, but all West Indies had to show for the effort was one wicket - that of Hamish Rutherford. Then followed a period of New Zealand dominance, led by Latham, which threatened to take the game away from West Indies.

Latham, impressive during his twin half-centuries in the first Test, was unfazed during that testing first period, and even later. He was prepared to leave a number of deliveries outside off, a trait that also rubbed off on Rutherford, who had replaced Peter Fulton. Both batsmen refrained from pushing unnecessarily at deliveries to start with, until Rutherford's patience ran out.

Latham continued playing a compact game. His first boundary - a classical off-drive past the non-striker - came off the 32nd delivery he faced, in Gabriel's first over. Twice, when he appeared in trouble against rising deliveries, he still managed eight runs with a couple of controlled guides through gully.

Ramdin opted for spin in the 16th over and Benn, with his height, posed a threat with the appreciable bounce he extracted. Latham was untroubled, using a solid front-foot defence to smother most of those deliveries. The runs came easily off the seamers at the other end and Latham went on to reach his third successive half-century of the tour, in 83 balls. Seventy-one runs came in the 18 overs just before lunch, a far cry from the slow start to the innings.

Both Williamson and Latham stuck to the same template in the second session, playing out five consecutive maidens before opening up. Williamson, on 19, had been dropped by Chris Gayle at slip off Benn in the first session and in the second, Latham survived a tough chance on 58 as a thick edge off Benn didn't stick in Ramdin's gloves.

Soon after the two batsmen had put up a century stand, though, Williamson blinked, top-edging an attempted pull off Gabriel to fine leg. That wicket buoyed Gabriel, who had been ordinary otherwise as he sent down a few probing overs. Then as Latham fell, two overs before tea, the bowlers found their mojo.

New Zealand's seamers responded with prodigious swing, one such out-swinging full delivery from Trent Boult taking Gayle's off stump late in the day, raising hopes of a counter from the visitors on day two.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on June 17, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    @ Shane Bond. Dead right. Cook wouldn't declare on Root, wanted a big cushion, & effectively lost. An incredibly well paid team with "the biggest backroom staff in cricket history" held to a draw by an often-unpaid team! Slow over rate (16 short,) player milestones dictating tactics, immense targets/not backing bowlers etc are not even conservative - just weak & fearful.

    Waiting for milestones can result in odd stats. It is well reported that Kallis INSISTED skippers "ignore his score" & declare at will. 189, 182, 148, 139, 136, 135, 89, *88, 85, 79, 75 are Kallis' "Close-to-Milestone" scores at declaration. 201, 157, 150, 107, *100 are his "Milestone" scores at declaration. "Milestone" scores - 3 wins & 2 draws. "Close-to-milestone" scores - 4 wins & 7 draws.

    They actually did better waiting for his milestones. Go figure!

    *100 was his 2nd ton of the match: SA won by 160. *88 COULD have been his 2nd ton of the match: SA won by 149. Should have waited!

  • ESPN on June 17, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    Simple selector decision after test ..Edwards or bravo fail? Replaced by Johnson or even Pollard

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    @BlakeHoulihan - classic smokescreen irrelevancies and miss the point what is more. I said Corey should play ahead of Rutherford and BMac should open (or Corey) instead of Rutherford for THIS test / THIS series with the 2 spinners et cetera. I did not write off Rutherford after one innings (though you might want to be careful about sticking by your argument and getting embarrassed twice if he fails again like you do in every retort you make after preceding commentary fail too)... rather I said "I told you so." And I did. Are you saying BMac opening (he got 4 runs at #5 and is not enjoying that position on this tour so far due to preferring pace on ball, hence Benn got him out) and Corey at 6, batting side by side with Neesham, is a worse idea than what we just went through in the first innings which I said would happen before it began after you - yes YOU - said Rutherford was better option???!? Yes, we have another innings to go! But so far ME < U. Karma for cheeky comment to me mate!

  • Android on June 17, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    thats good to see #windies bowlers back to their action. ....

  • Clifford on June 17, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Test match starting on a Monday... seriously?!

  • Dummy on June 17, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    West-indies will have to bat for the next two days. Then win

  • Android on June 17, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    W.I needs few new batsmen to be a strong & consistent team.Boiling seems to be ok.

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    NZ will clean out the WI for maybe 165, get a 250 run lead and bowl them out again for 180, all over in just over 3 days, that's my prediction!

  • Shane on June 17, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    @BlakeHoulihan - indeed, constant bickering between fans helps no-one. Solid debate is all good, that's why we are here, but first and foremost we should be supporting the team and willing whoever is chosen to succeed.

  • Blake on June 17, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    weasel_zapper - Hole in one. Spot on. Most of my comments are moderated but it doesn't matter when I see comments like these.

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