Hamilton, December 5
The dark clouds that gathered over Seddon Park on Saturday on the third day of the first cricket test between New Zealand and West Indies were good omens for New Zealand fast bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
Boult and Southee play for Northern Districts province which counts Seddon Park at Hamilton among its home grounds. They have an intimate knowledge of local conditions and are especially aware than when low cloud settles over the ground the ball will swing.
The West Indies resumed at 49-0 Saturday after openers John Campbell and Kraigg Braithwaite showed great tenacity to bat through the last 26 overs of the second day Friday.
The New Zealand bowlers were unable in very different conditions to make a breakthrough.
But the conditions Saturday were much more in the bowlers’ favour, the ball swung late and Southee and Boult combined to claim three West Indies wickets inside the first four overs.
Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner also took wickets and at lunch the West Indies were 114-5, still 405 runs behind New Zealand which declared its first innings at 519-7.
Captain Jason Holder was 14 and Jermaine Blackwood 18.
Wickets began to tumble in the first over of the day when Campbell, who had struck an authoritative four from the first ball and was 26, pushed too hard at a ball pitched across him by Southee which he parried to Kane Williamson at extra cover.
In his next over Southee removed Shamarh Brooks with a delivery which was an exemplar of the swing bowler’s art. The ball was full, darted away at the last moment and Brooks edged to Ross Taylor who took a comfortable catch at first slip.
Boult made his mark in the following over when he dismissed the overnight batsman, Braithwaite, for 21. The ball was angled across the right-hander, caught a faint edge and was caught by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.
Southee seemed to have another victim soon after. His lbw appeal against Darren Bravo was supported by the umpire but overturned on review; replays showed the ball pitching just outside leg.
Jamieson troubled the batsmen with his height and bounce but deceived Bravo with a fuller delivery which bowled him. Bravo was impeded by an Achilles tendon injury suffered in the field on the first day.
Wicketkeeper Roston Chase was next out, trapped lbw by Wagner for 11 when the tourists were 79-4. Wagner seemed to have West Indies captain Jason Holder in similar fashion before he had scored but replays showed Wagner had overstepped the line and the delivery was declared a no-ball. AP