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The West Indies continued their dominant form against New Zealand on Thursday, dismissing the tourists for 260 on the opening day of the second Test match at Sabina Park. Fast bowler Kemar Roach again ripped the heart out of the Black Caps' batting with 4-70 off 17.2 overs, to follow up his 5-60 in the second innings of the first Test victory at Antigua. Tino Best marked his return to Test cricket with 2-40. The livewire Best also completed an athletic piece of work at cover to run out topscorer Martin Guptill (71) with a direct hit. Off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine bowled well to take 2-43 as the visitors folded on the opening day. The West Indies reached 11 without loss at the close, with first Test century-makers Kieran Powell (10*) and Chris Gayle (1*) set to resume on Friday.
For New Zealand it was yet another case of so many players getting off to starts, but failing to make them count. Martin Guptill, who recorded half-centuries in both innings in Antigua added a third consecutive one here, but was beaten some phenomenal fielding from Best. Ross Taylor, who made an entertaining 60 laced with 4 boundaries, shared a 103 run stand with Guptill after early strikes from Roach and Best had reduced the visitors to 11-2.
However, despite heading into the tea break at a competent 152-3, New Zealand collapsed in dramatic fashion to take the last seven wickets for under 100 runs. Sadly for the Kiwis, everyone other than Dean Brownlie made his way into double figures, but failed to kick-on and get a telling score.
â€œI would rate today's effort as a good performance. It was not an easy pitch to bowl on â€“ it offered some moisture in the early stages, but then it flattened out and made batting quite easy,â€ Roach said. â€œI put in the work, reaped some reward and I'm pleased with four wickets. We bowled them out for 260 and that is good for us. They batted pretty well early on and we had to change our plans and come back at them in the final session.â€
Roach was full of praise for the persevering Best and said his effort was exactly what the West Indies needed on the opening day.
â€œHis pace was â€˜up' and he troubled the batsmen. I would say he was the pick of the bowlers for us. The role he played was fantastic out there today. It was pretty hot as well and he maintained his energy levels. That's how Tino plays ... wholehearted every day.â€
Best, who replaced the injured Ravi Rampaul in this match, got an early wicket when he produced a superb outswinger to have Brendon McCullum taken behind by Denesh Ramdin. He returned to produce another good ball which skipper Ross Taylor edged to the keeper. Best said he was pleased to support Roach, who earlier this week vaulted into the Top 10 of the International Cricket Council's Test Match rankings.
â€œI was happy to get the new ball and run in and look for wickets. I told myself to stay focussed and try to get the ball in the right areas. I was happy when I got McCullum early as that gave us a good start after we won the toss and put them it,â€ Best said.
â€œAfter that it got harder, but I still kept my pace up and kept running in. In the end I was pleased with my effort. Kemar was excellent and just keeps getting better as a bowler for us. I'm pleased for him. In our team we enjoy each other's success and I was happy to support him today.
â€œWe're 1-0 up in the series and we have put ourselves in a good position in this match. To get 10 wickets on the first day is good, anyone would take that. We will look to build on the second day and push forward.â€
New Zealand 1st Innings 260 all out (82.5 overs, 3.13 rpo)
M Guptill 71 (174) K Roach 4-70
R Taylor 60 (100) T Best 2-40
West Indies 1st Innings 11-0
Photo Â© DigicelCricket.com/Brooks LaTouche
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