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An excellent unbeaten century stand from the new opening duo of Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell, helped put the West Indies in a position of significant strength in the first cricket test against New Zealand at Antigua. Resuming from their overnight score of 232-4, the Kiwis were bowled out for 351, an addition of ust 119 runs. Sunil Narine led the way for the West Indies grabbing his maiden 5-wicket haul in test cricket, and was well supported by Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul, who picked up 2-wickets apiece.
The West Indies delayed taking the new ball in the morning, and the decision paid dividends with Narine removing Neil Wagner for 4. The new ball was finally taken in the 107th over, and the West Indies bowlers made good use of it as well, running through the Kiwi lower middle order. Disappointingly from New Zealand's point of view, all the batsmen got starts, making their way into double digits before getting knocked over.
Narine picked up his 5th wicket, the ninth of the innings by getting rid of wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk for 11 leaving the Kiwis in trouble at 309-9. However, Doug Bracewell rescued the situation some what by landing some lusty blows in a cameo 39 (31b) to take New Zealand past 350.
The West Indies batsmen had a streaky start with Powell fortunate to escape when he got a thick edge that flew through the slip cordon, while Gayle was dropped at backward point by Daniel Flynn. Those misses proved to be very costly as Gayle obliterated the bowling, smashing his way to a half-century from just 39 balls.
The former skipper though slowed down considerably thereafter, perhaps influenced by the fact that there was a century on offer on his return to the test match arena after a gap of over 2 years. The veteran batsman will come into day 3 unbeaten on 85. At the other end, young Powell did exceptionally well to not try to compete with Gayle, and played his own game. He is unbeaten on 58 from 164 balls.
The West Indies ended the day 206 runs behind New Zealand, and will attempt to end Day 3 in the lead as they look to take an early lead in this Test series.
New Zealand 1st Innings 351 all out (129.1 overs, 2.71rpo)
M Guptill 97 (249) S Narine 5-132
R Taylor 45 (96) K Roach 2-55
West Indies 1st Innings 145/0 (48 overs, 3.02rpo)
C Gayle 85* (124)
K Powell 58* (164)
New Zealand lead by 206 runs
- 28/07/2012 10:12 - Gayle hits 14th Test century as Windies take control of 1st Test
- 28/07/2012 10:08 - Powell celebrates first Test ton; says time at Sagicor HPC changed his game
- 27/07/2012 10:38 - Powell: Chris took the pressure off me