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West Indies had a day to savour as the last two wickets added 60 runs to the toal, stretching their score to a respectable 367. And the men from the Caribbean will be equally pleased with their bowling display as they were able to pick up three New Zealand wickets and give themselves some chance in the test match. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine dealt the home batsmen a serious examination by spin. Narine picked up only two wickets, but he could easily have had more in an unchanged spell of 22-9-43-2. Kane Williamson made a fluent half-century before suddenly turning clueless against Narine. Ross Taylor went past 400 runs for the series with another calming fifty; he also had better fortune than Williamson and managed to survive the day.
In the morning, Shivnarine Chanderpaul equalled Don Bradman’s 29 Test centuries, went past Allan Border’s tally of 11174 runs and remained unbeaten for the 45th time in 260 innings. Pace bowler Tino Best and Veerasammy Permaul contributed handy twenties to push West Indies past the 350 mark, a landmark that seemed rather improbable after the visitors were reduced to 86-5 on the 1st afternoon. New Zealand were sloppy in the field, as Peter Fulton dropped Best in the slips off Corey Anderson, and the West Indian made the Kiwis pay as he combined sensible defensive batting with the usual tail-ender slog to guide West Indies to 367.Permaul clubbed a run-a-ball 20.
On a pitch that was offering little for the pace bowlers, Narine and Veerasammy Permaul sent down 45 of the 64 overs New Zealand had to negotiate, and West Indies are yet to use their two part-time spinners. The pitch remained unhelpful for the fast bowlers, but afforded quick and sharp turn for the slow bowlers. New Zealand didn’t enjoy the brightest of starts as they lost both their openers, as Rutherford fell to his own premature exhuberance, while Peter Fulton was freed from his misery at the crase by the intelligent Sunil Narine, both wickets owing more to Darren Sammy’s sharp reflexes than the quality of the deliveries.
Sammy first bent low in his follow through to pluck a low catch as Rutherford drove hard in the sixth over and he snapped up an extremely sharp reflex chance at backward short leg as Fulton flicked Narine. Fulton batted 71 deliveries to make just 11, and his faliure to rotate the strike severely slowed down the New Zealand innings. Sammy made amends for his disappointing displays with the bat, as he fell for 3 off 28 following his pair in Wellington.
Taylor and Williamson’s partnership went off to a nervy start, but the experience was there for all to see as both men looked to get to the pitch of the ball against the spinners, and work their way into the innings with sharp running between the wickets, rotating the strike and keeping the runs flowing. The occasional loosener was dispatched to the fence, and the partnership was beginning to stabilise the New Zealand innings. Sammy was moved to bringing back Tino Best for a four-over burst which was wayward but things turned around suddenly after that. Williamson first began to have difficulties against Narine, unable to handle the sharp turn on the offbreaks. He just escaped being bowled twice in succession, and then decided to move outside off stump to try and tackle the spin.
He soon played outside the line of an offbreak to be trapped in front, his review going in vain, and the partnership ending on 95. Brendan Mccullum, who was in next, had all sorts of problems against Narine, who began ripping the carrom ball across the right handed Mccullum from around the wicket, and the KKR man didn’t seem to have much clue as he missed the first two by a mile, and only managed to edge the third for a single, as New Zealand weathered the late storm to go into stumps for the loss of only three wickets.