The BLACKCAPS have plenty to think about ahead of the first Test after fighting hard to secure a draw against the West Indies President’s XI in the three-day warm-up match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
Neil Wagner and Daniel Vettori mopped up the tail early this morning to dismiss the home side for 326 with New Zealand starting their second inning 177 runs behind.
The batsmen struggled for rhythm throughout the match, reaching 149 in the first innings before scrapping their way to 181 for eight in their second attempt with their patience tested twice on the neighbouring wicket to the one that will accompany them for the upcoming Test match starting Wednesday (Thursday NZ time).
The top order failed to forge a significant partnership with the new-ball bowlers removing Daniel Flynn for one and Martin Guptill for seven.
More application was shown by Brendon McCullum who struck 51 while Ross Taylor made 19 and Kane Williamson hit 25. Dean Brownlie (five) and Daniel Vettori (two) missed out.
Kruger van Wyk, who came to the crease at 135 for seven, then struck a fighting 38 not out to prop up the batting effort and help push New Zealand past the West Indies first innings total.
The wicket-keeper batsman, who scored an important 34 in the first innings, was supported by tail-enders Tarun Nethula and Neil Wagner who resisted a West Indies bowling attack on a wicket that had variable bounce and turn.
Plenty of credit has to go to Wagner who only scored five unbeaten runs but faced 57 balls and stayed at the crease for an hour during a vital a ninth wicket partnership worth 23 runs.
Tall West Indian spinner, Shane Shillingford, was the most dangerous of the bowling attack, picking up five for 77.
Earlier, a stunning catch by van Wyk helped Neil Wagner collect the wicket of Veerasammy Permaul for 17.
Vettori then closed out the inning by trapping Kemar Roach in front for one before having Shillington caught in the deep for 25.
The wily spinner ended up with six for 48 while Wagner impressed with three for 65.
Day 2: WICB President’s XI take the lead on day two
A Narsingh Deonarine century has put the West Indies President’s XI to a strong position at the end of the second day in the three-day warm-up match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
The West Indies reached 299 for seven at stumps in reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 149.
The New Zealand bowling effort started positively with Daniel Vettori removing the top three batsmen inside 19 overs. Adrian Barath (10) was caught at bat-pad by Brendon McCullum, Kieron Powell (25) played a loose shot and was caught at mid-off by Martin Guptill and Kirk Edwards (3) was the victim of a sharp stumping by Kruger van Wyk.
Tarun Nethula made another breakthrough shortly after lunch when he bowled out Assad Fudadin for 38.
Deonarine and Shivnarine Chanderpaul then combined for a 129 run stand for the fifth wicket, taking the score from a precarious 104 for four to a solid 263 for six.
Chanderpaul was incredibly patient, hitting 51 off 137 deliveries but it was Vettori who struck again to have the seemingly immoveable left-hander caught at mid-off.
Deonarine was far more aggressive striking 106 off 124 before holing out and in doing so handed Neil Wagner his first wicket of the day.
Wagner, who ran in hard from ball one, was rewarded with the late wicket of Devon Thomas who was caught-behind after cracking a quick 32.
Vettori was the pick of the attack, finishing the day with four for 48 while Wagner has two for 50.
Earlier, the New Zealand tail managed to add another 12 runs to the overnight score of 137 for eight with Nethula and Martin both making four and Wagner left unbeaten on six.
Captain Permaul picked up two wickets his morning to finish with three for 34 while Kemar Roach, who picked up all his wickets on day one, returned figures of four for 34.
Day 1: Williamson toils during tough day
The BLACKCAPS have endured a tough day with the bat in the three-day warm-up match against the West Indies President’s XI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
New Zealand fought their way through to 137 for eight after 70.2 overs before rain brought a halt to the first days play.
The BLACKCAPS were forced to bat after losing the toss and the home side made the most of the early conditions with fast-bowler Kemar Roach picking up four for 28 off 14 overs.
Roach, the West Indies leading wicket-taker had the ball moving well in the morning session, particularly when bowling to right-handed batsmen, drawing edges from Brendon McCullum for two and Ross Taylor without scoring.
The right-arm fast bowler also picked up the valuable wickets of Martin Guptill for five and Daniel Vettori for nine while Daniel Flynn was bowled by fellow new-ball bowler DelornJohnson for 14 and Dean Brownlie was trapped in front by spinner, Veerasammy Permaul for nine.
Kruger van Wyk and Kane Williamson managed to put on a crutial 80 run stand for the seventh wicket before van Wyk was adjudicated LBW off the bowling of Narsingh Deonarine for a gutsy 34.
Williamson was the mainstay of the New Zealand batting effort, grafting 55 off 117 deliveries but his long vigil came to an end when he was dismissed four overs before the close of play.
Neil Wagner (3) and Tarun Nethula (0) will resume tomorrow.