Southee and Craig secure huge lead

CricketFilePhotoC(Sports Page)— The pitch at Sabina Park did not behave too differently on the third day. The pace, turn and bounce on offer was not significantly more than when New Zealand had batted in their first innings. The West Indian batsmen were woeful, and Tim Southee and debutant offspinner Mark Craig exploited their loose techniques and lazy footwork to secure a 246-run lead. Brendon McCullum, however, chose to bat again and set the home side a large target on a surface that could deteriorate on the fourth and fifth days.

New Zealand inflicted the worst of the damage in two overs, on either side of lunch. Craig struck twice in three balls to raze the foundation built by a watchful opening partnership, and Southee also took two in three deliveries – ending Chris Gayle’s half-century – to reduce West Indies to 104 for 5 in the second session. It was left to Shivnarine Chanderpaul to whittle at the inevitable deficit and he played his shots, and gave the tailenders opportunities to play theirs too. That approach brought West Indies some boundaries, but it also brought New Zealand wickets, and Chanderpaul was stranded on 84 when Southee ended the innings with the second new-ball to finish with figures of 16-2-9-19-4.

The visitors’ second innings got off to a poor start when Peter Fulton nicked an outswinger from Jerome Taylor to depart for a duck, his second failure of the Test. Run scoring was slow once again, as Taylor and Kemar Roach bowled accurate spells, moving the new ball at pace. Kane Williamson thought he had off stump covered when he shouldered arms to a Roach delivery, but he did not. He had been bowled not offering a shot in the first innings too, to Sulieman Benn. New Zealand were 7 for 2, and though the day’s last half hour might not have indicated it -nightwatchman Ish Sodhi and Tom Latham were battling for survival – they were well ahead in the Test.

Summarized scores: New Zealand 508 for 7 dec and 14 for 2 lead West Indies 262 (Gayle 64, Chanderpaul 84*, Southee 4-19, Craig 4-91) by 260 runs

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