Franklin stars for BLACKCAPS

James Franklin took five wickets as the BLACKCAPS prospered on the first day of the second Test against the West Indies at the Basin Reserve.

State Wellington Firebirds’ Franklin claimed his third Test five-wicket innings, for just 44 runs off 17 overs, as the West Indies made 182 for eight on a weather-affected day in the capital.

An incisive performance by the BLACKCAPS’ seamers overcame the loss of Shane Bond, the seven-wicket man-of-the-match at Auckland, to a stomach virus.

Despite the absence of his nemesis from Eden Park, Brian Lara again went cheaply, making one before falling to one of three slip catches by Stephen Fleming.

Runako Morton, with 63, was the Windies’ top scorer on a day which promised much more than it delivered for the visitors.

The day started badly for the BLACKCAPS, with Bond’s late withdrawal and Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s second consecutive toss win.

The West Indies openers Daren Ganga and Chris Gayle, whose century stand had threatened to decide the Auckland Test, put on a sprightly 45 in the opening hour.

But Franklin intervened, removing Gayle for 30 before Mills proved an able deputy by taking Ganga (18), both caught by Brendon McCullum.

Franklin struck again to take Lara, before Chris Martin earned the wicket of the visiting captain Chanderpaul (four), from another slip catch from his skipper.

After lunch, the left-armer took another quick brace, trapping Dwayne Bravo (eight) lbw and forcing Denesh Ramdin (two) into an inside edge.

Fleming intervened once more, to give Martin the wicket of Rawl Lewis, whose cameo of 22 had supported Morton in a 40-run stand.

Rain forced an early end to the afternoon session, but the players returned after a 90-minute stoppage.

Franklin struck almost immediately on the resumption, trapping Morton lbw to remove the cornerstone of the tourists’ innings.

However, the BLACKCAPS were unable to finish off the visitors’ innings because of bad light and weather but will be in a strong position at the start of day two.

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