Few rewards for Windies bowlers against defiant New Zealand 'A' batting


Few rewards for Windies bowlers against defiant New Zealand 'A' batting

Sunday, November 29, 2020

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QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (CMC) — West Indies prospective Test bowlers continued to find wickets hard to claim on the Tour of New Zealand, when they met defiance from the Blackcaps' reserves in their tour match yesterday.

Pacer Chemar Holder was the most successful Windies bowler taking two for 51 from 15 overs, but New Zealand “A” reached 249 for four, replying to the visitors' first innings total of 571, before bad light stopped play almost an hour early on the third day of the four-day, first-class match at John Davies Oval.

The West Indies attacked claimed only four wickets in a three-day, warm-up match that ended this past Sunday at the same venue as the team prepares for the two-Test series against the Blackcaps' senior team.

But Windies Head Coach Phil Simmons said he was not concerned because the bowlers had generally been far more successful in Tests over the last two years than the batsmen and he was confident they would again rise to the challenge.

Simmons may have to recalibrate a bit, after the Caribbean side again failed to make inroads into the New Zealand “A” batting, which was led by Test reserve Will Young with an unbeaten 80, and openers Henry Cooper with 54 and Rachin Ravindra with 52.

The West Indies attack for this match, however, does not feature their regular Test new-ball pair of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, but they would have hoped for more success after Blackcaps' reserves resumed from their overnight total of 45 without loss.

The Windies failed to break the opening stand during the first hour, and Ravindra, a century-maker in the three-day match, reached his 50 from 98 balls in the first half-hour after the morning drinks break, when he swept off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall through backward square leg for his fifth four.

Cornwall, however, made the breakthrough after the pair put on exactly 100, when he trapped Ravindra lbw playing forward.

A half-volley outside off-stump from Jason Holder was punched square to bring Cooper to his 50 from 139 balls a little before lunch was taken with the New Zealanders on 126 for one.

In the second over after lunch, Chemar Holder had Cooper lbw playing across a full-length delivery, and in the pacer's next over, Joe Carter edged a loose drive at a wide delivery that moved away and was caught behind for one.

The visitors had New Zealand “A” wobbling on 137 for three, but Ken McClure joined Young and they stabilised the innings for close to an hour-and-a-half with a stand of 49 for the fourth wicket.

But Test Captain Holder had McClure lbw for 20, playing back and across to a well-pitched delivery that moved back about 10 minutes before tea was taken with New Zealand “A” on 192 for four.

After the break, the West Indies bowlers failed to find a way through McConchie and Young, whose 50 came from 114 balls, when he tugged part-time off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite to mid-on for a single, and the pair put on 53 — unbroken — for the fifth wicket before the gathering gloom ushered the end of play.

The first Test between New Zealand and West Indies starts on Thursday, December 3, at Seddon Park in Hamilton, and the second Test begins on Friday, December 11, at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

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