Windies changes do the trick

New Zealand

The West Indies bounced back well from an embarrassing defeat in the first Test as some inspired bowling after lunch saw New Zealand collapse from 120/1 to 221 all out in front of a crowd of no more than 1000 spectators at the Queen's Park Oval.

The West Indies bounced back well from an embarrassing defeat in the first Test as some inspired bowling after lunch saw New Zealand collapse from 120/1 to 221 all out in front of a crowd of no more than 1000 spectators at the Queen's Park Oval.

They are 6 for 1 in return at stumps on day one after losing Chris Gayle to a poor defensive shot, bowled by a great delivery from Trent Boult.

Brendon McCullum again won the toss and batted and the home side were unable to extract much from the favourable overhead bowling conditions and green-tinged pitch.

When Tom Latham (82) and Kane Williamson (42) put on a hundred stand for the second wicket it appeared as if the second Test was following a similar course to the first one.

While the cricketing world was glued to the enthralling high drama at Lord's, this Test seemed forgotten to obscurity as New Zealand plodded along in an empty stadium.

But once Shannon Gabriel, whose seam bowling was preferred by the selectors to Shane Sillingford's spin, had Williamson caught on the boundary the floodgates were opened and the visitors drowned. No other partnership was greater than 26 runs and the last five wickets fell for 29 runs.

It was an all-round bowling effort led by an aggressive Jerome Taylor (4/34) and Sulieman Benn (3/73). Some wickets fell to loose shots on a surface that offered something for everyone but credit must be given to a bowling side that looked far more determined to perform than they did in Jamaica.

Ross Taylor (45 not out off 80 balls) played an uncharacteristically Chanderpaul-esque innings as he tried to shepherd the tail and eventually ran out of partners. No other batsman managed more than 15 runs on a patchy-looking pitch where scoring is not straightforward.

The hosts will look to push for a healthy lead tomorrow but their batting in Jamaica was mediocre at best and the early wicket of Gayle in the gloaming would have given the visitors some belief that they can contain the WI batsmen. Gayle was replaced at the crease by a large lightwatchman in the shape of Benn and this was largely seen as overly cautious by the local media.

No heavy rain is forecast but there is a threat of rain each day and Dinesh Ramdin's side can ill-afford to bat negatively in a must-win game as they are 1-0 down with only a Test in Barbados remaining after this.

Starting a Test match on a Monday seems a jolly daft thing to do but Thursday and Friday are public holidays in Trinidad and with some luck this Test match will offer enough promise for the Trini Posse will turn up en masse.

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