New Zealand’s top order fights well for survival – first Test vs. West Indies

New Zealand first innings 351, second innings 199-3 (Brendon McCullum 84, Martin Guptill 67, Sunil Narine 2-67) leads West Indies first innings 522 (Chris Gayle 150, Kieran Powell 134, Narsing Deonarine 79, Chris Martin 3-134) by 28 runs.

Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill gave a positive reply after New Zealand conceded a 171 runs first innings lead as West Indies piled up a mammoth score.

New Zealand scored 351 runs in the first innings and West Indies in reply amassed 522 runs. The visitors displayed fine batting in their second innings and are striving hard to save the match at 199 with seven wickets in hand at stumps on day four.

Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum - Match saving fifties by the duo
Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum – Match saving fifties by the duo

The fourth day’s play came to an end on Saturday, July 25, 2012, at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua.

Earlier, the Windies started their first innings at 442 for the loss of six wickets in 138 overs, Narsingh Deonarine and Darren Sammy were unbeaten for 54 and 8 runs respectively. Sammy exposed his intentions by hitting a couple of fours in the two opening overs and Deonarine got a life on the second ball of the 143rd over when he was dropped by Kane Williamson off Doug Bracewell at 55. The latter opened his arms and hit three fours in the 150th over as Sammy continued with his aggressive style at the other end.

The seventh wicket partnership assembled 69 runs and took the score to 497 when Narsingh Deonarine was clean bowled by Chris Martin for 79. Darren Sammy completed his fifty on the second ball of the 159th over with a grand six to Daniel Vettori but was caught and bowled by the bowler on the very next ball for 50 runs. The Caribbeans hammered 522 runs when they were bowled out in 163.3 overs and got a vital first innings lead of 171 runs over the Black Caps.

Chris Martin was the highest wicket taker with three, Doug Bracewell and Kane Wiliamson held two each whereas Neil Wagner and Daniel Vettori shared one wicket each.

New Zealand initiated their second innings with the reliable, Martin Guptill, and Daniel Flynn. The first started off from where he left in the first innings by sending the ball twice out of the rope in the fifth over. Flynn was also doing well and got three fours in between his innings before he was declared leg before wicket off Sunil Narine for 20 runs.

The first wicket fell at 47 runs as Brendon McCullum joined in with Guptill and opened his account with a four in the 12th over. The hosts came back strongly and gave away just 15 runs in the following 12 overs but most importantly, the Kiwis, kept their cool and did not play any rash shots. The first hundred of the innings was posted on board in the 32nd over and the young Martin Guptill, achieved his second fifty of the match on the fourth ball of the 36th over.

Both batsmen became harsh on Marlon Samuels in the 41st over by dispatching 18 runs. McCullum hit three consecutive fours in the same over, completed his 23rd Test fifty and the 150 of the innings was scored in the 45th over. The second wicket partnership counted for 123 runs when Martin Guptill was caught by Assad Fudadin at short leg off Sunil Narine for 67 off 151 balls with 7 fours.

The Black Caps skipper, Ross Taylor, came in next and started his innings with a single on the first ball he faced. He dispatched two back to back fours in the 55th over off Narine and the duo took the score to 194 when the stumps of Brendon McCullum were uprooted by Kemar Roach for 84 off 139 deliveries with 8 fours. The visitors added five runs to the total at the end of the fourth day’s play, Ross Taylor was batting at 11 and Neil Wagner was at the other end with 4 runs.

New Zealand has gained a second innings lead of 28 runs and they will try to enhance the lead which can take them to safety. The West Indies will anticipate some quick wickets and will try to win the match on the last day of the play.


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