Confident New Zealand target series win
‘Nigh on the perfect Test’ was how captain Brendon McCullum described his side’s 186-run win to open the three-match series at Sabina Park.
First-innings centuries from Kane Williamson and Jimmy Neesham set up New Zealand’s win as a total of 508 meant they were never in danger of losing.
The win was the Kiwis’ first in the Caribbean since 2002 and puts them in a commanding position in the series.
To repeat that effort would be a big ask at Port of Spain starting Monday, but something close could be enough to claim the series.
While McCullum was predictably delighted, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson was furious with his team’s batsmen.
The hosts posted scores of 262 and 216 in the first Test, but their highest scorer in the second innings was off-spinner and number 11 Shane Shillingford.
Shillingford blasted the second fastest half-century in Test history ” off just 25 balls ” as he finished unbeaten on 53.
Gibson said there needed to be a bigger contributions from his team’s top order.
“They have just got to occupy the crease and look at New Zealand, the way they went about it ” making runs, starts, getting yourself in first, assessing the conditions, assessing the bowlers, scoring areas,” he said.
“We had five batsmen over two innings in our top six who made ducks and that puts your batting under pressure.”
With Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul still among their top order, the West Indies are capable of doing some damage.
New Zealand will be out to seal the series after their confidence-boosting win in the first Test.
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