BLACKCAPS recover to build lead

A century partnership between Stephen Fleming and Peter Fulton helped the BLACKCAPS overcome an early double blow on day two of the second National Bank Test against the West Indies in Wellington.

Fleming fell three runs short of a first Test century at the Basin Reserve and Fulton made 75, having put on 165 together for the third wicket.

Nathan Astle was unbeaten on 65 at stumps, having made 86 with Daniel Vettori (42) before the latter’s dismissal, to Fidel Edwards off Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

The BLACKCAPS finished on 335 for seven, 143 runs ahead, James Franklin was not out on two.

A morning session extended after inclement weather on day one provided plenty of entertainment, with the BLACKCAPS recovering from the dismissals of Hamish Marshall and Jamie How to successive deliveries.

Marshall went for three, caught off Bradshaw by Chanderpaul before Edwards removed Jamie How’s middle and off stumps.

Earlier, Kyle Mills quickly dispatched the tourists last two batters, Daren Powell (16) and Edwards (no score) to accumulate his best Test figures of three for 53.

Franklin claimed five for same amount, Fleming took his fourth catch of the innings and Ian Bradshaw, 20, was the last man standing as the West Indians were all out for 192.

The afternoon session saw the BLACKCAPS progress, but they had to withstand the blow of their captain falling three short of his century.

Having compiled his top Test score on his province’s home ground, he fell desperately close to three figures, caught at backward point by Bravo off Edwards - who had dropped him earlier.

But the 165-run partnership had brought the side back from their poor start.

Fulton was joined at the crease by Astle and resumed his impetus until tea.

However, Fulton, having reached his first Test milestone, did not push on after the break. He fell to the first ball of the evening session, becoming Powell’s first victim of the series.

The bowler soon double up, though, when Scott Styris (eight) was caught by Runako Morton. Brendon McCullum (23) also fell to Powell, his attempted hook reaching counterpart Denesh Ramdin.

Astle and Vettori pushed on, making 86 together at the crease before the latter’s dismissal with a handful of deliveries remaining.

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