New Zealand v Windies, 1st Test, Day 2 - 5 Talking Points

New Zealand v Windies, 1st Test, Day 2 – 5 Talking Points

Just as the day was heading to a close, Grandhomme stroked a 71-ball century, which happens to be the second fastest century by a New Zealander.

Colin de Grandhomme of New Zealand
Colin de Grandhomme of New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Relying on sensational knocks from Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor, New Zealand has taken a gigantic leap in the first Test at Wellington. After losing some quick wickets towards the end of day 1, the experienced campaigner Taylor and Jeet Raval rose to the occasion and helped the Kiwis take a strong hold on the first Test.

Although Kemar Roach and Miguel Cummins exhibited some quality fast bowling throughout the day, it wasn’t enough to create any pressure on the hosts. With Henry Nicholls and Taylor stitching a wonderful stand in the middle order, Grandhomme and debutant Tom Blundell hammered the tired bowlers to take the game away from the visitors.

The final session was the most exciting and enthralling part of the day, with Grandhomme and Blundell bludgeoning the bowlers to all parts. Just as the day was heading to a close, Grandhomme stroked a 71-ball century, which happens to be the second fastest century by a New Zealander after Brendon McCullum. They are well on their way towards humiliating the Windies in the next couple of days, given the game does last that long.

Here are the five talking points of the day.

1. Grandiose Grandhomme!

What a splendid knock that was from Grandhomme, who was being criticized as a liability on the side. He hammered all the critics with a sensational century, which happens to be the second fastest by a Kiwi and 9th fastest in Test cricket history, levelled with RC Fredericks of the West Indies. His 105-run knock included 11 fours and 3 sixes and towards the end of the day, Roston Chase got the big fish and that brought curtains to a very fine inning.

2. The partnership that changed the game

After Jeet Raval was dismissed, Henry Nicholls entered to accompany Ross Taylor. The duo stitched a crucial 127-run stand, which changed the game on its head. The Kiwis were in a quandary at 109/3, but this partnership pulled them out of the trouble and helped them amass a 100-run first innings lead before Taylor got dismissed and this partnership came to an end.

3. Blundell shines on debut

It always feels good to score big on debut and Tom Blundell is well on his way towards a big knock. The 27-year-old waited long for his opportunity and when he got it, he made the most out of it. He assisted Grandhomme as the latter kept clobbering the Windies bowlers and played a brilliant second fiddle knock.

4. DRS denies Taylor a hundred

Not to make DRS the villain here, but the Windies made smart use of the technology to deny Ross Taylor a well-deserved hundred. Taylor was bamboozled with an in-swinging delivery from Kemar Roach and on the naked eye, it seemed as though there was an edge. But the Windies went for a replay and there was no contact from the willow, which meant Taylor was dismissed for a well-made 93 off 160 balls.

5. Poor tactics that lead to a catastrophe

When Grandhomme entered the crease, skipper Jason Holder missed the trick and handed the ball to the spinners. This gave him a chance to settle down and clobber them to all parts, which eventually led to a humongous knock. The spinners had the least impact on the game till then and making Miguel Cummins or Roach bowl during that period would’ve worked wonders for him. Spinners Chase and Brathwaite together conceded 126 runs in 30 overs at over four runs an over. This is massive on a track where anything above 3 runs an over is expensive.