West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 4th day

West Indies close in on elusive Test victory

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

June 19, 2014

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand 221 (Latham 82, Taylor 4-34) and 257 for 8 (Williamson 52) lead West Indies 460 (Brathwaite 129, Bravo 109, Blackwood 63, Sodhi 4-96) by 18 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Tom Latham was caught off a delivery that bounced sharply, West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Trinidad, 4th day, June 19, 2014
Tom Latham could do nothing about a snorter of a delivery from Sulieman Benn © Associated Press

Innings and 51 runs, innings and 126 runs, innings and 73 runs, eight wickets, 186 runs - margins of defeat for West Indies in Tests over the past year. The wretched run prompted big changes: out went the perpetually under-pressure captain Darren Sammy, the bowling attack was revamped before this series, and the batting was rejigged before this Test. Barring an all-day torrential downpour on Friday, or something utterly sensational from the New Zealand tail, the sweeping changes are set to bear their first fruit in Port-of-Spain.

It's been a long time since West Indies dominated a Test against a top-eight side as they did this week. BJ Watling and Mark Craig may have frustrated the home side and the smattering of fans who showed up at Queen's Park Oval, but their ninth-wicket defiance never threatened to alter the balance of the match. Dwayne Bravo, the allrounder looking to make a Test return, was among those watching from the stands, dressed in bright pink that was appropriate for a post-victory party, but that celebration will have to wait a bit.

New Zealand began the day 166 behind, and though there was no sensational collapse, there weren't many substantial partnerships either as West Indies chipped away through the day. Curtly Ambrose, the West Indies' bowling coach, had given an animated speech during the team huddle at the start of the day, and he will be pleased that each of his specialist bowlers did their bit in the victory push.

In the 20th over of the day, Chris Gayle was looking at the sky and pumping his fists in delight, while the bowler Kemar Roach was unleashing a string of joyous whoops. West Indies had just got the rock of New Zealand's batting, Kane Williamson, ending his three-and-a-half-hour vigil.

Either side of the Williamson wicket, there were moments of magic from Sulieman Benn to prise out two more wickets. First, he bowled a ripper that reared off a length to take Tom Latham's glove on its way to silly point. Then, late in the morning session, he pulled off a bit of athleticism unexpected from the 6' 7" spinner, sticking out his right arm to pluck a low, hard return drive from Jimmy Neesham. The ball stuck in his palm, but Benn barely celebrated the astonishing catch - just the usual high-fives with his team-mates as though it was an everyday occurrence. Only a wide grin that remained for minutes after the dismissal betrayed how much he enjoyed that catch.

It was a Herculean effort from Benn, who bowled unchanged between the 26th and the 86th over, to tie up one end and allow the quicks time to recover. His efforts were even more crucial to the victory push as one of the three quicks, Shannon Gabriel who had a poor first innings, was given only five overs in the first 68 of the innings.

West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin turned to Gabriel after lunch, and the faith was rewarded. Ross Taylor and BJ Watling had been resisting gamely, but Gabriel tempted Taylor into driving one away from his body, resulting in a nick to the keeper.

That brought in Hamish Rutherford, who recovered from a stomach bug that prevented him from batting on Wednesday evening. Rutherford could be seen yawning a handful of overs before his turn to bat, but he had to be far more attentive in the middle as the seamers were getting the ball to dart around and Benn was also probing.

Watling again proved how reliable he is in the lower-middle order, but Rutherford showed that he has some way to go before becoming a consistent source of runs for New Zealand. He was squared up on his first delivery, fortunate not to edge it, but there were plenty of edges in his short innings after that. One dropped short of Chris Gayle at first slip, another flew through the vacant third slip area, another deflected the ball onto his pads. He finally perished offering no stroke to an incoming delivery during an outstanding spell from Jerome Taylor with the old ball.

When Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee perished soon after tea, a four-day finish seemed a dead certainty, but Craig and Watling survived 27.3 overs to take the game to the final day. An innings defeat was averted, but the lead is a mere 18, and Trinidad can expect their delayed victory party on Friday.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (June 22, 2014, 6:15 GMT)

reg, you assume wrong, I was more pointing to you saying Taylors dismissal was quite out of character, when he's been culpable of streakiness throughout his career, even if he has been for the most part awesome the last couple of years he's by no means completely eradicated it from his game.

I don't think the 300 on it's own makes up for some poor performances in the past, but it's one of the finest performances in our test history and should be given due credit. Also the 200 in the 1st test (Bradman, Hammond, and McCullum only ones to achieve this). Add in the 100 supporting Taylor in the 1st test vs WI and it's a massive step in the right direction.

Bet you were gushing in your praise of Taylor after the WI series but didn't offer a peep after the India series? Obviously just blinded by your Taylor fanboyism and dislike for McCullum.

What is this "evidence" you speak of? Here's one stat for you. Specialist batsmen average of 41.47, would put him 7th all time for NZ.

Posted by regofpicton on (June 20, 2014, 19:43 GMT)

to Weasel zapper - when you say i have a selective memory i assume you think i am deliberately forgetting McCullum's 302 against India. Absolutely not. The problem is that you think a score of 302 justifies strings of failures. I say absolutely not. It shows that he can play test cricket when he wants to. I think that makes the strings of failures less tolerable, as it shows that most of the time he's just not interested.

There was a telling remark during the TV coverage of the latest England Sri Lankan test. Botham was talking about batsmen's attitudes, and he quoted Boycott: "Good batmen like batting, great ones love it". On the evidence, McCullum simply couldn't care less.

Posted by Mollox on (June 20, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

'So! It's Friday I need to get my average back up and since no cricket for the next 5 days, we can finish the match, get the formalities out of the way and head for St. James; after all it is Friday and we in TnT!!! "Smokey and Bunty" then a club!!! Yeah!' - I think someone had those thoughts. What you think? Congrats to Windies for a welcome (decisive) win. We could talk about whether it could or should have been by an innings or not " 'til the cows come home"; the fact is, a win is a win!!!! Enjoy the weekend and lets win the next one in like manner!!

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

With WI winning today the test arena is pretty even with SA and Aus being the teams who are clearly ahead .Eng I would rank 3 rd .NZ Ind SL Pak are evenly matched teams with WI not so far behind if their young batsmen Bravo Brathwaite Blackwood show consistency and CG and Chanders can also do the same they have a decent batting lineup and with Taylor Roach coming back to form with Narine benn holder Shillingford they can potentially have a better test attack than Ind SL NZ and even Pak .In the subcontinent the three teams from subcontinent are way ahead along with SA .Eng Aus NZ WI struggle in subcontinent .Ban and Zim should not even be mentioned unfortunately but in the sub continent they still can prove a match for NZ WI .

Posted by wapuser on (June 20, 2014, 15:06 GMT)

Now it look like Shane was fault West Indies lost that first test so that why he was drop. But you see now New Zealand still batting

Posted by tutorial on (June 20, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

WI.could've had this game won already, had Narine, Bishoo or Permaul selected.WICB. need to pick a full strength team and realize that we don't have test players in abundance at reserves.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (June 20, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

@ reg, that's where we differ I guess, i'm a fan of both given they're the only 2 in the current set up who average more than 40 as specialist batsmen. I've uttered those words a fair few times for both of them over their careers too, thankfully alot less as of late. You must just have a fairly selective memory.

Posted by regofpicton on (June 20, 2014, 9:21 GMT)

I am happy to declare myself a very big fan of Ross Taylor, but i have no trouble in saying that he played a very poor shot to get out. But I have to point out that it was a shot quite out of character, and everyone can be excused the odd poor decision. And that's the difference between Taylor & McCullum, because rotten shots are not out of character for McCullum. On the contrary, "that's the way he plays", as though that excuses it. So come on, weasel zapper - say it. "McCullum played a rotten shot". Once you start to face up to this reality you will soon get the hang of it, because I have no doubt that he'll give you endless chances to practice this little phrase . . .

Posted by paddles952 on (June 20, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

well we have been done by rain a few times from very strong positions e.g. west indies first test and england in dunners so for balance issue a nice rain save would even the slate....

Posted by Bishop on (June 20, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

@11_Warrior Negative cricket? Yeah, that will happen when you are 240 runs behind on the first innings. I suppose NZ could have gone out all guns blazing, and lost by an innings and 100 runs by lunch on day 4...but you know what? I like the fight they're showing. It's called Test cricket for a reason.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (June 20, 2014, 8:31 GMT)

Well at least we avoided an innings defeat, that would've been a bit demoralising. If we could somehow eke out a lead of 100 it could at least make for an interesting chase.

Surprised a few haven't mentioned Taylors dismissal, if that had've been McCullum playing that shot minutes before the new ball the uproar would've been deafening.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 7:52 GMT)

Crazy catch by Benn! Neesham was unlucky there and that was a gutting moment for sure as who knows where we would be now (probably 5 down and 60 ahead or something... rats). Latham even more so could do nothing about his dismissal - the delivery spat at him like an angry llama. We just have to bat better first up and turn the pressure up, like they did.... test cricket is easy, but equally complex, it is the actual 'beautiful game'. 8-) Go the mighty, all-conquering (hopefully) Black Caps!

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 7:47 GMT)

Please... (to the tune of Hootie and the Blowfish).."Let it rain.... as the drops fall down on Trinidad... Let it rain.... cos us losing would be bad.... Let it pour.... let it fall right down on them... and if the sun comes up tomorrow, that is lame... that is lame...." No, but seriously, come on weather Gods. Or let's have miraculous batting or let's just get on with it and bring on the next test and drop Rutherford for Corey and let McCullum open since he opened when Rutherford could not, proving he is the obvious choice. Failure irrelevant... he's a better chance starting versus pace. At home that still happens at #5... in the West Indies he gets spin, old ball et cetera... But either way, we need to stack our line-up with runs for this next test (and freak out the spinners with the Corey/Neesham twin-threat and also utilize Corey's bowling); hopefully win the toss, bat first again and this time bat like the first test! 8-) Go the mighty and deserving black Caps!

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (June 20, 2014, 6:56 GMT)

@ 22many, forgot he was even on tour, i guess its an option but do you really want 4 wicket keepers in the starting xi (latham, mcccullum, watling, ronchi) add to that mix a couple of allrounders and we are light on specialist batsmen especially with fulton and rutherford not up to much, i like watling down the order, he nullifies the second new ball and makes big partnerships with tail enders which is usually the difference between a middling score and a very good one, not sure ronchi pocesses those qualities, i think watling would definatley cope with opening but his value is so immense down the order i'd rather someone else took on the burden of opening, ive got no idea what the selectors will do for the 3rd test but my bet is there will be changes and you might get your wish, it isn't what i'd do but im not totally against it because if we open with fulton or rutherford we would be gift wrapping that 3rd test for the windies

Posted by StevieS on (June 20, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

OK, since we have no other openers in the WI, someone needs to bite the bullet in the next test so either McCullum or Williamson needs to open. My team for the next test is Latham, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Watling, Anderson, Neesham, Southee, Sodhi, Wagner, Boult. Williamson is our second spinner if needed.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 5:01 GMT)

If NZ take 100 run lead, I would put my money on NZ to win the game and series.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 4:53 GMT)

Chance of rain in tomorrow is high. If rain does come, then Nigh inning would worth a test match. I love and enjoy his batting and the way he kills 102 deliveries just awesome and hope he will continue doing this in future. Test cricket at its best.

Posted by 11_Warrior on (June 20, 2014, 4:34 GMT)

184 / 7 by NZ on day 4. Negative Cricket.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 4:20 GMT)

At last,we are able to witness WI dominate a test match .If the WI players show a lot more application and the will to fight , you can see them being competetive against higher ranked teams. It is extremely difficult to digest the WI team of invincibles led by Clive Lloyd has to be seen in the present state . I also fell that there is a place for Dwayne Bravo in the test team but wonder why he is being ignired constantly . Dwayne Bravo is a player full of energy and fight , which are qualities WI need,to move forward.

Posted by 22many on (June 20, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

@kiwicricketnut. That's why you would have to think about bringing him up to open...I know many say no because of his keeping...and fair enough.....he has been making a good fist of keeping and deserves the spot....but what is best for NZ.....Watling opening with Ronchi behind the stumps appeals to me...both good keepers and both can bat...

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 3:33 GMT)

Is it just me wondering how Rutherford, a "specialist batsman" looked so ordinary, and yet Mark Craig, in his second international game (as a specialist bowler to boot) can look solid, and largely untroubled by the bowling?

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 3:25 GMT)

i think nz playing eleven should be for 3rd test-1.mccullum 2.latham 3.williamson 4.taylor 5.neesham 6.watling 7.anderson 8.southee 9.sodhi 10.boult 11.craig

Posted by pt_pt on (June 20, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

Game is all but gone, well done WI, you have to give them credit for this performance after the first test. NZ are back to themselves being inconsistent as usual. Blame the selectors on playing out of form players like Rutherford and picking a side without wagner, who was in pretty good form. Too many one time heroes like Craig seem to be normal for NZ.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 2:36 GMT)

This is great competitive test cricket. Kudos to both teams.

Posted by raj0529 on (June 20, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

Good to see the best of performances from WI.. But for so long years the selectors have lost the game for WI... If the could not pick the best 11 from their domestic team.. They don't deserve to be in the management.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 2:09 GMT)

How's the weather looking?

Posted by wapuser on (June 20, 2014, 1:19 GMT)

Westindies are favourites but I think black caps also fight on last day if they take their lead to150runs

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (June 20, 2014, 1:16 GMT)

Good show of resilience by NZ. The selection staff must be a bit disappointed at the performance of Gabriel. He only got 7 out of 70 overs at one point but credit to Ramdin for trying to help his confidence by giving him an extended run against the tail.

I expect Holder to be chosen next match, not only because the match is in his home country Barbados, but also because the pitch will be similar (if not quicker) than this one in Trinidad.

Shillingford as much as I rate him needs to develop an effective arm ball or carrom ball to lessen the predictability of his bowling. Benn should be retained as he has been very economical and has taken wickets despite many chances being missed by the fielders. Hats off to Taylor and Roach once again for their probing lines and consistent lengths.

The slips need to catch better and on slow pitches, with short and skiddy bowlers, it is crucial that they stand as close to the wicket as possible. Way too many low chances were missed.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (June 20, 2014, 0:49 GMT)

Terrible result for WI fans ...

the WI never change a winning team ... so if a mediocre team wins ... they will remain ...

If the WI have a world # 1 team in the wings... WI needs to lose, so that WICB will pick that team...

If WI wins tommorrow,,, this will just delay Pollard and Holder's and Narine's introduction into the team by another year ...

Taylor, Roach, Holder, Narine, is possibly the best 4 bowlers available to any Test nation ...

South Africa and Australia are dying for a spinner .... WI has one,, and refuses to give him a FAIR chance .....

WI has about 4 spinners ...

and 6 pacers ....

Such a great core ...

WICB selectors will mess this up.. They have such an easy job ...

Taylor,Roach, Holder, Rampaul, Gabriel , Narine, Benn, Miller, Deonarine, Permaul,

I contend pitches in the WI are not as bad as people say ... I think WI is just producing a string of quality bowlers and no quality batsmen .. I

Posted by Riddymon on (June 19, 2014, 22:50 GMT)

This match is as good as over...however, Windies have once again taken too long to cut off the tail. higher ranked teams would have made them pay for this even more......kudos to new zealand for bringing it to a 5th day though.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (June 19, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

if i wanted someone to bat for my life in this nz team it wouldn't be williamson or taylor, it would be watling, he just knows how to tough it out and graft and as long as he is at the crease i'll believe we can save this game, if he can somehow bat till after lunch with the last two guys and get the lead around 150 then there is a chance even if it is highly unlikely watling is the man for the job. 3rd test is going to be a cracker now, wonder what changes we'll make, is it time to play to our strengths and play wagner instead of a spinner.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2014, 22:12 GMT)

The game is not over until the fat lady says so. This is cricket and anything can happen. Hopefully WI will come out in the morning with new strategies to wrap it up early hopefully before lunch.

NZ on the other hand as we all know will drag it on as long as possible.

The game leans more in favour of WI but it ain't over yet.

Good luck WI, let's bring one home for the fans.

Posted by mrhamilton on (June 19, 2014, 22:04 GMT)

Good move getting rid of samuels and Powell and bringing back Taylor and Benn.shillingford and narine should figure too.keep the competition for places.let Braithwaite and Edwards have one final run.Blackwood looks good.my team is Braithwaite,narine,Edwards,bravo jnr,chanderpaul,Blackwood,ramdin,Taylor,roach,Cottrell,narine.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2014, 22:01 GMT)

West Indies is a lot better team than their recent form suggests. I was wondering for so long where Jerome Taylor was gone. He returned and showed his class. He is bowling quick, seaming the bowl with accuracy and showing a lot of temperament. Ramdin too has evolved as a batsman in recent year. Their bowling was never their weakness. Fidel Edwards too should return because he always looked a quality fast bowler. Sarwan's inclusion in odi's and tests will strengthen their batting lineup and samuels, gayle and bravo have to show some consistency in batting department and aggressiveness in their approach to the game. Players like Kraig,Edwards,Powell,Charles,Pooran,Darren etc are the future of this team's batting lineup. Their new bowlers are fresh and energetic and with betterment in pitches, first class platform, maintenance, care and guidance will ensure that atleast their bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets and batsman can score in foreign conditions. Hope for the best :)

Posted by   on (June 19, 2014, 21:59 GMT)

if this game ends as a draw its west Indies fault.

Posted by FOUR-REAL-QUICKS on (June 19, 2014, 21:56 GMT)

Keep plugging away guys, the victory line is in sight. A very good job so far, just need to wrap things up early tomorrow. Then please, select Holder for the third test instead of Gabriel...

Posted by   on (June 19, 2014, 21:15 GMT)

well played west indies there is still chance for a series win

Posted by   on (June 19, 2014, 19:16 GMT)

rutherford will out of 3rd test And bring back anderson.

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