BLACKCAPS stranded 33 from victory

BLACKCAPS stranded 33 from victory

Day five: West Indies 213 & 507 (f/o) (Darren Bravo 218, Darren Sammy 80, Neil Wagner 3-112) BLACKCAPS 79-4 (Ross Taylor 16*, Corey Anderson 20*). Match drawn. 

Chasing 112 for the win, and with Corey Anderson and Ross Taylor seemingly over the early-innings wobbles, the rain came at tea and stayed, leaving the 33 short, and the match drawn. 

Full scorecard

The BLACKCAPS started their second innings chase of 112 for victory nervously to say the least, reduced to 44 for four by a remarkable spell by Shane Shillingford. 

The 30-year-old spinner had four of the BLACKCAPS top five batsmen back in the shed in just his sixth over and opening the door to the possibility of a West Indies victory. 

Thankfully though Ross Taylor had retained the form which saw him to 218 in the first-innings and alongside Corey Anderson, he guided the BLACKCAPS to far more comfortable position. Taylor was on 16 and Anderson, who showed calmness beyond his years, on 20 a light rain began to fall and the umpires called an early tea. 

Despite moment where it seemed like the rain would clear and make a result possible, it never really went away and despite herculean efforts by the ground staff, play was called off at 6.10pm.  

Earlier, Trent Boult has made the key breakthrough when he bowled yesterday’s double-centurion Dwayne Bravo on 218. The West Indies number three can count himself unlucky, with the ball staying low and skidding into off-stump. 

Captain Darren Sammy continued to tick over the score for the visitors, edging his side past the 500 mark. Unfortunately though he was quickly running out of partners at the crease, before he himself was the final wicket to go after 162.1 overs. 

It was a joint effort from the BLACKCAPS bowling attack, but it was Neil Wagner who led the wickets column with figures of three for 112 from 30 overs. Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi took two apiece, while Anderson had one scalp to his name. 

The series now shifts to Wellington, where the two teams will meet for the second match on Wednesday

Day four: West Indies 213 & 443-6 (Darren Bravo 210*, Darren Sammy 44*, Ish Sodi 2-130) lead the BLACKCAPS (609-9d) by 47 runs. 

A double-century from Dwayne Bravo has given the West Indies hope on day four of the first ANZ Test match against the BLACKCAPS at University Oval.

The number three batsman was an immovable object from the start until the very end of the day, making a superb 210 not out in the process.

His efforts saw the West Indies overcome the BLACKCAPS lead of 396 and give his own side a 47 run advantage. At stumps, he and his captain Darren Sammy (44*) went into the shed at 443 for six.

Earlier, the BLACKCAPS got off to a good start when Tim Southee took a sharp catch off his own bowling to dismiss Marlon Samuels (23). There was even more delight soon after, with Neil Wagner trapping the dangerous Shivnarine Chanderpaul just after for one.

Bravo though was defiant, rarely looking uncomfortable during his time at the crease. At the other end he formed a strong partnership alongside Narsingh Deonarine (52), with the pair putting on 122 for the fifth wicket.

The breakthrough eventually came from Corey Anderson, who found a faint edge from Deonarine to dismiss him in the 102nd over. Denesh Ramdin came in and played a cameo of 24 before being undone by Ish Sodhi, who found the gap between bat and pad and reduced the visitors to 363 for six.

Unfortunately, that would be the last of the joy for the BLACKCAPS until the close of play, with Sammy and Bravo resistant until stumps was called.

In doing so they gave their team a lead, but the real story was Bravo’s maiden double-ton.

Having batted close to faultlessly for almost nine hours, he reached the 200 mark, becoming the 26th West Indies batsmen reach the milestone.

With his success came a tough day in the field for the BLACKCAPS, with the bowlers charging in hard all day, but not getting the results they had hoped for. Ish Sodhi led the attack with two wickets, while Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Southee and Anderson all had one apiece.

Despite a frustrating day, they remain a chance of victory on day five, and will be eager to get the final four West Indies wickets early tomorrow.

Day three: West Indies 213 & 168-2 (Darren Bravo 72*, Trent Boult 1-26, Ish Sodhi 1-51) trail the BLACKCAPS (609-9 declared) by 228 runs.  

The BLACKCAPS remain in the box seat heading into day four of the first ANZ Test against the West Indies, requiring eight wickets for victory. 

Dunedin delivered another cracking day of sun for the spectators and they had plenty to cheer about, with the BLACKCAPS bowling out the West Indies for 213 in the first-innings. 

That left them still 396 runs behind the BLACKCAPS total of 609 for nine - when Brendon McCullum sent the visitors out to bat again, the West Indies batsmen showed a lot more resilience, narrowing the deficit to 228 and finishing the day at 168 for 2. 

Dwayne Bravo and Kirk Edwards led the fight back in the afternoon, putting on 117 for the second wicket. Ish Sodhi made an impressive comeback late on after struggling to find his rhythm in his first spell. The BLACKCAPS pressed hard late on and fans were treated to the sight of Sodhi and Aaron Redmond forming a twin-legspin attack, the first time for New Zealand since Moir and Alabaster v Pakistan in 1955. 

Daren Bravo and Marlon Samuels survived all the excitement, and will resume for the West Indies tomorrow. 

Earlier, Tim Southee and Boult had been the catalysts behind the West Indies demise, dismissing all of the top seven batsmen between them. Southee finished with figures of four for 52 from 16 overs, while Boult claimed three scalps in his 18 overs for 40 runs.

The best of the West Indies batsman was the ageless Shivarine Chanderpaul, who played a superb knock of 76 before being trapped lbw by Southee. 

His dismissal was followed by the fall of regular wickets, with 21-year-old legspin bowler picking up two late wickets and a run out from Aaron Redmond ending the innings after 62.1 overs. 

Day two: BLACKCAPS 609-9 declared (Ross Taylor 217, Brendon McCullum 113, BJ Watling 41) lead the West Indies 67-2 (Darren Bravo 37*, Tim Southee 1-15, Trent Boult 1-7) 

It takes at least one special individual performance for a side to reach 608 for nine – today for the BLACKCAPS that performance came from Ross Taylor. 

The 29 year-old became the 13th BLACKCAPS player in history to score a double-century and remained unbeaten on 217 when captain Brendon McCullum made the call to declare. 

In the remaining 24 overs Trent Boult and Tim Southee bowled tight lines, only conceding 7 and 15 runs respectively in their overs. The pair picked up a wicket each to reduce the West Indies to 67-2 at stumps, still trailing by 542 runs. Neil Wagner bowled six overs in typical bustling fashion, and Ish Sodhi made his home bowling debut and show he'd be a handful on day three. 

The day had started with captain Brendon McCullum falling for 113, when he was bowled by his West Indies counterpart Darren Sammy.

There was a further jitter when Corey Anderson was brilliantly caught down the leg side for a duck. At 385 for five there was a danger the BLACKCAPS might not take advantage of their strong position. 

Taylor would gradually alleviate those fears though and assured the BLACKCAPS control. There was no sign of a slog sweep for six, but all the other trademark Taylor shots were on display. A cameo with BJ Watling (41) took the BLACKCAPS past the 450 mark and Taylor himself past 150. 

Watling fell in the 122nd over and was quickly followed by Tim Southee. The suffering wasn’t over for the West Indies though, with Ish Sodhi (35) coming in and putting on 76 for the eighth wicket with Taylor. 

Sodhi fell with Taylor less than 10 short of his 200, allowing Neil Wagner to be out in the middle as the man of the moment brought up the remarkable milestone. 

It had been a composed innings throughout. While he wasn't afraid to put away the bad ball (taking 18 from one over), it was clear that Taylor’s main goal was not to be dismissed. 

He would go on to achieve that, reaching 217, before the run out of Wagner for 37 brought about the declaration from McCullum. Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels will resume for the West Indies tomorrow from 10.30. 

BLACKCAPS 367-3 (Brendon McCullum 109*, Ross Taylor 103*, Hamish Rutherford 62, Peter Fulton 61)

Centuries to both Brendon McCullum (109*) and Ross Taylor (103*) have put the BLACKCAPS in a commanding position in the first match of the ANZ Test Series against the West Indies.

In what was brilliant viewing for spectators, the pair put on an unbeaten 188 for the fourth wicket and between them struck 27 fours and three sixes (so far). 

In fact, the first day of the home summer of cricket could hardly have gone better for the BLACKCAPS, as they put the West Indies bowlers to the sword to reach 367 for three.

Having lost the toss, the BLACKCAPS were put into bat by the visitors - as it turned out, it wasn’t such a bad toss to lose.

Openers Hamish Rutherford (62) and Peter Fulton (61) looked comfortable against the new ball and put on a very handy 95 for the opening wicket. It took a remarkable one handed catch by Narsingh Deonarine at long-on to end the stand, sending Rutherford on his way in the 25th over.

That brought Aaron Redmond out to the middle, who received a warm welcome from his hometown crowd. Unfortunately his stay was shorter than they would have liked, drawn into a leading edge by Tino Best on 20. 

Having brought up his half-century, a Peter Fulton edge saw him depart in the 52nd over to bring his captain out to the middle. Plenty of anticipation had surrounded McCullum’s return after his back injury, and you could feel the sense of anticipation.  

McCullum and Taylor worked steadily to take the BLACKCAPS past the 200 mark. They made themselves increasingly at home at the crease and the crowd at University Oval were soon treated to some enterprising strokeplay. 

The duo’s 100 run partnership was brought up in style, with McCullum crushing a huge six over mid-off. Personal milestones awaited them, as both players seemingly found the boundary at will.

McCullum’s confidence never wavered as he entered the 90s, delicately reverse-sweeping Shane Shillingford for four. Soon after, a dab down the ground after just 101 balls saw him reach triple figures and McCullum raised his bat to rapturous applause from his home crowd.

It had been McCullum at his belligerent best.

Taylor meanwhile had also worked his way into the 90s and after 150 balls brought up his ninth Test ton. He had barely put a foot wrong the whole innings and was particularly punishing through the point region. 

To cap the day off, both players remained until stumps and will have an opportunity to hammer home the BLACKCAPS' advantage tomorrow morning.


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