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NZ v WI, 2nd Test, Day 2, Review: Hosts in command as Windies’ batsmen disappoint yet again

The visitors still trail by 158 runs and they only have two wickets in hand.

Trent Boult of New Zealand
Trent Boult of New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

New Zealand ruled the second day of the ongoing second Test match against Windies at Seddon Park in Hamilton. The inability of the Caribbean bowlers to clean up the tail once again came back to haunt them after which their batsmen threw away the starts while batting. However, Windies will surely not go down without a fight and very few would be surprised if they turn the tables on the Kiwis on the third day.

The second day began with Windies in control after picking some late wickets on day one and they would have hoped to clean up the tail quickly in the morning. They started brightly by sending Neil Wagner back in the very first over of the day who was caught sensationally by Shai Hope in the slip. But what followed later was the old problem which has haunted many teams in the longest format of the game. The tail wagged yet again for New Zealand as Tim Southee and Trent Boult added 61 runs in just eight overs.

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The latter was more enterprising as he remained unbeaten on 37 off just 27 deliveries and Southee was scalped by Kemar Roach on 31 as the Kiwis were folded on 373. The score was even more pleasing given they 286/7 at the start of the day. Shannon Gabriel was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors with four wickets and he was well supported by the other pacers as well. But they couldn’t wrap up the innings of their opposition which would disappoint them the most.

Brathwaite stands tall as others capitulate

Windies started their innings with a hope that they would bat big on a good batting wicket. But they were rocked early in the very first over by Southee as Kieran Powell fended a beautiful outswinger to Tom Blundell to register a duck. Shimron Hetmyer and Kraigg Brathwaite then slowly but steadily resurrected the innings. Just when the former was set and things were looking comfortable, Boult pulled off a screamer off his own bowling to send him back in the 14th over of the innings.

Shai Hope was the next to go then who was flustered with a rain break after looking good for his 15 runs. Roston Chase was castled then by Colin de Grandhomme on 12 as Sunil Ambris was out hit-wicket for the second time in three innings. Amidst all the happenings, the skipper Brathwaite stood tall and notched up a brilliant half-century for his team and was looking solid as ever. However, the bad day for Windies was summed up as Southee pulled off a stunner at cover with his acrobatic fielding effort.

Shane Dowrich added some quick runs after pulling the short balls and driving beautifully but only looked good while it was coming off. Wagner sent him back to the pavilion with a short ball itself with the visitors staring at the possible follow-on. Though Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach made sure they cross 174-run mark and avoided it. The latter fell in the dying stages of the day but Reifer stayed put and fought his way to remain unbeaten as Windies ended on 215/8.

New Zealand were excellent with the bowl and in the field as well with their seamers doing all the bowling. Mitchell Santner’s spin wasn’t required at all as the fast bowlers shared all the seven wickets. They would want to make sure that the tail doesn’t wag on the third morning and take a considerable amount of lead. Windies will look to make a comeback with quick wickets upfront in the second innings and give the hosts a real scare in this final Test match of the series.

Brief Scores

New Zealand 373 (J Raval 84, de Grandhomme 58; S Gabriel 4/119, K Roach 3/58)

Windies 215/8 (K Brathwaite 66, S Dowrich 35; T Southee 2/34, de Grandhomme 2/40)

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