Gabriel pleased with Windies effort

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West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel said that having New Zealand seven down by stumps on day one was a good effort from his team.

He would concede that they had allowed the Black Caps too many scoring opportunities early in the day having failed to assess the pitch.

Gabriel said after day one which saw New Zealand reach 286 for 7 in 87 overs before stumps: “I think they scored 30 or 40 runs too much, but it was a good day of Test cricket.

“I think if we told ourselves this morning we’d win the toss and have them seven down by the end of the day’s play, we’d have taken that.

“I think judging from what happened in the last game, once we win the toss, you back yourself when it’s bowler-friendly. But I don’t think that was the case on this wicket, I think it was a bit more flat than in Wellington.”

The West Indies were able to restrict the scoring of the Black Caps after lunch which led to wicket-taking opportunities.

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Gabriel would add: “After lunch, we decided that we wanted to be patient and luckily things happened for us.

“When we started this morning we bowled a little too full – myself. It was a bit soggy, the crease. So my landing was skidding along the wicket, and it was a bit difficult to control my line and my length. But when the sun came out the pitch got a bit dry so it was a little bit easier for me.

“We told ourselves once we soak up the runs and bowl the ball back into the wicket it was going to be a bit difficult to score runs. Once we build that pressure, we know 90% of the time a wicket is going to come. In cricket, you could be 100 for 1 and you could be 150 all out. We just had to believe in ourselves, as a group we always believe in ourselves.”

Gabriel felt the decision to play uncapped left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer over legspinner Devendra Bishoo was justified given the conditions.

He said: “Most of the guys started well this morning.

“Hats off to Raymon, I think he bowled beautifully, his figures didn’t really show how he stuck to his task.

“The conditions may favour Bishoo a little bit, he’s been our No 1 spinner for the past two years, so it’s a bit difficult leaving him out. But I think the fast bowlers bowled good enough in the last game to warrant a place in this team for this game.”

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