KINGSTON – New Zealand squandered the early advantage gained by a 103 run second-wicket stand between Martin Guptill and skipper Ross Taylor to fold for just 260 at Sabina Park in the second Test today.
After being sent in to bat on a flat deck, the Kiwis lost opener BJ Watling and Brendon McCullum early, but Taylor (60) and Guptill (71) countered the fast bowling duo of Kemar Roach and Tino Best to score individual fifties.
Taylor and Guptill were going along at a fair clip and after lunch, brought up the 100-run stand. Tino Best, replacing the injured Ravi Rampaul, got the vital breakthrough of Taylor after he got one to bounce from a length, inducing the edge from an attempted cut.
Guptill carried on the consolidation with Kane Williamson (22) before a mini-collapse saw New Zealand go from 161 for 3 to 170 for 6.
Guptill, as has been the case throughout the tour, looked set to get to the elusive hundred, but was done in by a brilliant piece of fielding by Best. He was run out for 71 and from that point on, West Indies chipped away at the tail.
A brave effort from the Neil Wagner (23), Tim Southee (18) and Trent Boult (14) meant that New Zealand were able to cross the 250 mark.
For the West Indies, Roach carried his form from the last innings of the first Test to pick up 4 for 70. He bowled with great pace and extracted bounce from the wicket.
Best (2/40) and Narsingh Deonarine (2/43) provided him good support, while Sunil Narine picked up the lone wicket of Doug Bracewell.
The West Indies opening pair of Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell started off cautiously and played out five overs to the close. The advantage solely rests with them and Gayle will be looking to score some big runs on his home turf tomorrow.