Sport

West Indies in dogfight to save first Test

Friday, December 06, 2013    

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DUNEDIN, New Zealand, (AFP) — West Indies battled to avoid a third consecutive innings defeat on ending day three of the first Test against New Zealand yesterday at 168-2, still 228 runs short of making the home side bat again.

The tourists were forced to follow on after they were dismissed for 213 in their first innings, with New Zealand pace pair Tim Southee and Trent Boult doing most of the damage after New Zealand racked up an imposing 609-9 declared.

Although the Caribbean side batted more responsibly in their second innings on a flat University Oval wicket in Dunedin, they face an uphill struggle to avoid another demoralising defeat.

Boult struck early in their second innings when he had Kieran Powell caught at second slip by Southee to leave the West Indies 18 for one.

Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo steadied the innings, putting on 117 for the second wicket before the leg spin of Ish Sodhi trapped Edwards in front for 59.

At stumps Bravo was not out 72 with Marlon Samuels on 17.

The West Indies arrived in New Zealand talking up their need for a morale-boosting win after being subjected to back-to-back innings defeats by India.

Instead they have struggled badly, failing to take advantage of a green-tinged wicket on the opening day before allowing themselves to be dominated by the New Zealand quicks.

On a wicket that now holds few dangers, they were largely undone in their first innings by a lack of footwork against seaming, full-length, deliveries.

Six of the top seven in the batting order were caught behind the stumps, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul the sole exception.

The 39-year-old held the West Indies first innings together as he worked his way to 76 before being trapped lbw by Boult without offering a shot.

Although he challenged the dismissal, video replays showed the ball would have clipped the top of the bails, vindicating umpire Paul Reiffel's decision.

It was Chanderpaul's 62nd Test half century, and along the way the seventh most prolific batsman in Test history passed the 11,000-run milestone.

Bravo's first innings cameo produced 40 while Darren Sammy was not out 27, leaving a sorry-looking scoreboard behind him and the honours with the New Zealand bowlers.

Southee took 4-52 and Boult 3-40 while Sodhi picked up 2-63.

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