Narine shines on return to Tests

Published: Sunday | December 22, 2013 Comments 0
West Indies' Sunil Narine (second right) and teammates celebrate the wicket of New Zealand's Brendon McCullum on the third day of the third Test cricket match at Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand.-AP
West Indies' Sunil Narine (second right) and teammates celebrate the wicket of New Zealand's Brendon McCullum on the third day of the third Test cricket match at Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand.-AP

HAMILTON, New Zealand (WICB Media):Sunil Narine continued his love affair with bowling at New Zealand's batsmen, grabbing career-best figures.

However, another batting collapse yesterday undermined his hard work and left West Indies in danger of losing the third Test here.

Narine grabbed 6-91 from 42.3 overs, as Ross Taylor (131) - hit his third hundred of the series - as the New Zealanders were dismissed for 349 just before tea on the third day at Seddon Park to give the Windies a slender first innings lead of 18.

The Caribbean side then squandered their chance of putting themselves in an impregnable position, as the Black Caps' pacemen, led by left-arm swinger Trent Boult with 4-23 from 10 overs, bowled them out for 103 in their second innings just before the scheduled close.

The Black Caps took the final three wickets in one over from Tim Southee, which have taken him to 101 for his career. Trent Boult grabbed four wickets, Neil Wagner had two and Corey Anderson took the other.

Boult came out swinging, bowling opener Kraigg Braithwaite for seven, claiming Kieran Powell for a duck and Kirk Edwards for one, both to catches.

Then all-rounder Corey Anderson removed Marlon Samuels for eight - before a spectacular backwards diving catch by Kane Williamson in the slips took the key wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 20, off Neil Wagner.

Anderson also removed Narsingh Deonarine for 13 and Boult snared Denesh Ramdin lbw for 18.

Earlier, Ross Taylor became just the second New Zealander after Mark Burgess to hit centuries in three consecutive Tests before he was out for 131. Taylor opened up after hitting a powerful four to reach his 11th century - he hit back-to-back sixes then a four in one over, before the 29-year-old was caught out at third man.

The Windies then failed to make a breakthrough, as openers Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford carried New Zealand to six without loss in two overs before stumps were drawn.

"Even though you have a good performance you still want your team to be on top," said Narine. "We were on top before tea, but New Zealand went out there and showed us exactly how to bowl on that wicket.

"We had a target around 250 to 300 in mind to set them. I think that's all changed, but you never know in the world of cricket what may happen (the next day).

"Wickets send jitters, so hopefully, you never know if we can get a couple of early wickets and go from there. You never know what could happen."

Narine is playing his first Test in just over a year and said there were a bit of nerves to overcome when he bowled his first over on the second day. But he could not have chosen a better opponent against whom to make his return, having bamboozled the New Zealanders in a two-Test series last year in the Caribbean.

"Coming back to Test cricket after a while and getting a wicket in my first over calmed the nerves a little and I could settle down and continue to bowl overs," he said.

"I wouldn't say I have a hold on the New Zealand batsmen. At end of day, if you bowl well you tend to get wickets. I'll just say I had a good day and hopefully have plenty more to come."

He added: "I wouldn't say I was surprised by the way the New Zealand batsmen have batted against me. They had a game plan and stuck to it no matter how the ball spun. They had a plan of what they wanted to do and went out and did it."

On missing out on selection in the first two Tests, Narine said: "Shane Shillingford has been doing a fantastic job and has been the main Test spinner, so I do not think that I was demanding a spot after not dominating Test cricket and I just had to wait for my opportunity."

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