New Zealand dominated the second day of the first Test against West Indies as they racked up 508-7 and saw Jimmy Neesham score another century.
Neesham’s knock came at just the right time as the Kiwis recovered from losing some early wickets to post an imposing total.
The morning session began poorly for the visitors, as Kane Williamson was removed having added just eight runs to his overnight total to be dismissed for 113.
Sulieman Benn fooled the right-hander with a slider, which Williamson left alone as it cannoned into his off stump to leave New Zealand 259-3.
That brought Brendon McCullum to the crease, but another wicket would fall soon after as Ross Taylor chipped an easy catch to Kirk Edwards at mid-wicket off the bowling of Shane Shillingford to depart for 55.
Things got even worse in just the next over as McCullum was completely deceived by Benn as he edged it behind having made just seven.
West Indian hearts were in their mouths as the ball rebounded off Ramdin’s chest, but the ball looped upward and was held easily by Chris Gayle at slip.
New Zealand’s overnight total of 252-2 had become 279-5 in almost no time as their batting collapsed.
From there, it was left to BJ Watling and Neesham to battle through to lunch, which they did to finish on 299-5 in a session that belonged to the hosts.
After the break, things got much better for the visitors as Watling and Neesham piled on the runs.
Cricket Stat: Jimmy Neesham has become the first NZ batsman to score centuries in his first two Test matches. Nice one.— Nina Stevens (@NinaBStevens) June 9, 2014
The pair put on 129 runs in just 35 overs and passed their fifties with ease, with Neesham looking impressive as he maintained a strike rate of well over 50.00.
He finished the afternoon unbeaten on 85, while at the other end Watling produced another effective innings to finish on 56 not out.
The West Indians ended the session looking demoralised and keen to collect their thoughts in time for the evening period of play.
|New Zealand 1st Innings|
|T. Latham||c and b||Shillingford||83||260||206|
|P. Fulton||c Ramdin||b Taylor||1||34||19|
|R. Taylor||c Edwards||b Shillingford||55||175||127|
|B. McCullum||c Gayle||b Benn||7||35||17|
|J. Neesham||c Ramdin||b Benn||107||216||171|
|B. Watling||c Powell||b Shillingford||89||228||204|
|T. Southee||Not Out||21||16||7|
|Extras||2nb 5w 19b 6lb||32|
|West Indies 1st Innings|
|C. Gayle||Not Out||8||26|
New Zealand went in at tea with the score at 414-5, with both Neesham and Watling well set.
In the evening session, the Black Caps continued to pour misery on their hosts and rack up the runs.
Neesham continued attacking and brought up the second Test century of his career off Jerome Taylor.
Meanwhile, Watling continued his march, with the pace of the pitch meaning that he scored very few runs down the ground.
The home side would finally get their breakthrough after a partnership of 201, with Benn once again the wicket-taker.
The left-armer forced Neesham to poke an edge to Ramdin, who clung on after juggling the ball to end the New Zealander’s knock at 107.
That left New Zealand 480-6 and brought Tim Southee to the middle, who immediately looked to be aggressive as the visitors pushed toward a declaration on Monday.
Watling also stepped up a gear but fell short of his century as he holed out to Kieran Powell at deep midwicket off Shillingford to end with 89.
Southee’s cameo of 21 from just seven balls helped New Zealand declare at 508-7 when Watling was dismissed and leave their hosts a tricky nine overs to face.
Gayle and Powell opened, and in just the fourth over had a mighty scare as Powell was dropped off the bowling of Southee by the luckless Peter Fulton.
However, the pair would survive to finish on 19-0 at the close of play, 489 runs behind with three days remaining.
It was an enormously successful day for New Zealand, who reached an imposing total against a demoralised bowling attack.
The hosts will have been heartened to see Benn and Shillingford take three wickets apiece, but they have plenty of work to do to save this game.