On a day when play was interrupted by rain on five occasions, New Zealand’s batting flopped as the West Indies President’s XI reduced them to 137 for eight when rain and poor light brought a premature end to the day at the North Sound Ground in Antigua.
The Kiwis’ main tormentor was pacer Kemar Roach who is expected to spearhead the Windies attack in next week’s first Test in Antigua. In helpful conditions, Roach bowled with pace and accuracy to have the visitors in early trouble.
Roach was ably assisted in the initial exchanges by promising left-hand fast bowler Delorn Johnson who also bowled with intent and troubled the Kiwis top-order. Roach snatched four for 28 in 14 testing overs, six of which were maidens, while Johnson took one wicket for 23 runs, also in 14 overs. Assad Fudadin took the important wicket of Kane Williamson for 55.
Williamson, who had held the Kiwis’ middle-order together, compiled his half-century in 205 minutes off 162 balls and struck six boundaries. He was out attempting to hook Fudadin’s medium pace which he mis-cued, and gave an easy catch to Roach at mid-on.
The only other batsman to offer any resistance to the President’s XI’s bowling was wicketkeeper Kruger Van Wyk. He made a fighting 34 before he was leg before wicket on the back foot to off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine. He had earlier been dropped on 26 at gully by Kieran Powell.
Captain Veersammy Permaul bowled miserly to finish with figures of one for 28 in 19 probing overs. The match resumes tomorrow at 9.25 a.m.