'Jerome Taylor was exceptional' - Latham
Tom Latham, New Zealand's opening batsman, said consistent lines from the West Indies' bowlers, led by Jerome Taylor, made batting difficult for the visitors on the opening day of the second Test in Port-of-Spain.
Latham scored his third successive half-century and added 104 runs for the second wicket with Kane Williamson, but once both batsmen were dismissed, New Zealand lost their last seven wickets for 62 runs in the final session. Taylor and Sulieman Benn were the best bowlers for West Indies, taking 4 for 34 and 3 for 73 respectively and three of Taylor's wickets came in the final session, as he dismissed Jimmy Neesham, BJ Watling and Ish Sodhi within four overs to hasten New Zealand's slide.
"Jerome Taylor was exceptional today, specially that spell after lunch," Latham said. "They certainly put the ball in the right areas for a good amount of time and made it a lot more difficult."
The pitch at the Queens Park Oval sported a green tinge, promising some support to the bowlers compared to the slow and low track in Kingston. Latham, who survived a testing opening spell from the West Indies pacers, said the pitch had uneven bounce but the swing - which accounted for Chris Gayle at the end of the day - would be crucial for New Zealand's bowlers, too.
"[It's] a funny sort of wicket, a little bit tennis-bally," he said. "The bounce is a little bit uneven. But the ball is still swinging so that's a positive sign for our bowlers leading in to tomorrow morning."
On his own innings of 82, Latham said he was disappointed to lose his wicket at a time that was "not ideal" for the team but expressed confidence about settling into a role at the top of the order. Latham, who made his Test debut against India earlier this year, has scores of 83, 73 and 82 in the series so far.
"It helps when you've got a few runs under your belt," he said. "You have to keep taking each innings at a time and you don't want to get too far ahead of yourself. Hopefully, in the second innings, if I do get an opportunity I can put the team in a good situation."