Windies take wickets in afternoon session

Stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite will hold the key to West Indies’ chances against New Zealand in the second and final Test of the series at Hamilton starting December 9

The Windies will brace itself for another trial by bouncers as it faces New Zealand in the second and final Test of the series, starting in Hamilton on Saturday.

Gabriel bowled straight through De Grandhomme during the final overs, the shiny new red ball proving too hard for the New Zealand batsman to handle, leaving Tom Blundell (12 not out) and Neil Wagner (1 not out) in the middle at the close of play.

But the Windies showed signs of life in Hamilton, restricting New Zealand to 286 for seven at stumps thanks to Gabriel's three-wicket haul (3-83), while Miguel Cummins (2-33), Kemar Roach (1-45) and debutant Raymon Reifer (1-36) also impressed.

New Zealand lost few wickets in quick succession at this point.

While fellow opener Tom Latham (22) succumbed to Cummins in the 20th over after gloving a short ball to wicketkeeper Dowrich, Raval looked comfortable alongside captain Kane Williamson (43) during the morning session.

In 74 balls, and for only 35 runs, they removed Williamson, Raval, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls.

At stumps wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, a century-maker on debut in the first test at Wellington, was 12 not out and Neil Wagner was 1 not out.

Brathwaite took over the captaincy from Jason Holder who is suspended for one match for his team's slow over rate in the first test at the Basin Reserve. It was only late in the day, when the pitch had been hardened by warm temperatures, that the West Indies bowlers and Gabriel especially began to find some pace and movement.

Asked if missing out on a century again frustrated him, Raval said: "I wouldn't say that".

Santner was bowled by a good one from Shannon Gabriel, who then did the same to de Grandhomme, after making 58 off 63 balls, and finished with the days' best figures, despite being ordinary for much of it.

New Zealand was happy with its position despite losing the late wickets. "I think they've scored 30-40 runs too much but I think it was a good day of Test cricket".

"I think judging from what happened in the last game, once we win the toss, you back yourself when it's bowler-friendly. It was a fresh wicket and the bowlers missed a couple of times and we were able to capitalize".

It ended what had been a quality performance from Raval who faced 157 balls and hit 15 boundaries, but while it moved his average to 47.61 after 14 Test innings he remained in search of a maiden century.

"I think it's evenly balanced, we had a good start to the day and they came back later so it's even leading into tomorrow", Raval said.



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