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The opening day of the New Zealand - West Indies Test series belonged to two men, Martin Guptill and Sunil Narine. While Guptill was unfortunate to miss out on what would have been a well deserved century, Narine claimed his maiden Test wicket, and ended the day with impressive figures of 3-73. With New Zealand ending the day at a patient 232-4, Narine will be in the running to claim his maiden five wicket haul when play resumes tomorrow.
At 223-2 at the start of the 85th over, it looked like New Zealand had done enough to win the opening day of this promising series with Guptill looking steady as a rock at one end, and his skipper Ross Taylor marching towards a half-century at the other, but Narine got the key wicket of Taylor in the final session, to break a third-wicket stand of 90. In his very next over, Narine also accounted for Guptill, who fell for 97 - caught at mid-on by Narsingh Deonarine.
Kane Williamson and debutant Neil Wagner survived the tricky period before the close of play to see their side to safety. They will resume battle with Narine & Co. tomorrow morning.
Earlier today, Narine claimed his first Test wicket when he forced Daniel Flynn into an error and his cut shot ballooned to backward point where Kieran Powell took the catch. Narine celebrated by raising his hands in triumph and looking heaven-ward. It was a vital breakthrough after the Windies went wicket-less in the first session with New Zealand making the most of their decision to win the toss and bat first. Guptill and Flynn (45) shared in an opening stand worth 97.
Flynn's dismissal brought Brendon McCullum to the crease, and the former wicketkeeper was his usual belligerent self, smashing 5 boundaries on his way to make a quick 25 before falling to Kemar Roach, caught by Deonarine at mid-off.
With New Zealand have crawled along on the opening day, the match is still very much in the balance, and a couple of early wickets tomorrow for the hosts could well put them firmly in the driver's seat.
New Zealand 232-4 (90 overs, 2.57rpo)
M Guptill 97 (249) S Narine 3-73
R Taylor 45 (96) K Roach 1-46
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