It wasn’t that New Zealand were totally outplayed during their two Test-match series against West Indies, as the 2-0 result may suggest. It was just that every time West Indies found themselves on the back foot or the Kiwis began to look threatening, someone or the other from the Caribbean camp stepped up to hand West Indies the upper hand.
The West Indies romped to victory by five wickets on today’s fourth day at Sabina Park. Night-watchman Kemar Roach scored an aggressive 41, and had a 70-run fifth wicket partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who finished unbeaten on 43.
The New Zealand batsmen negated the good work their bowlers did on the second day and are now in danger of losing the test series 0-2 on tomorrows fourth day at Sabina Park. As the game now stands, the West Indies are 135/4, 71 runs away from the 206 required for victory.
It is a time of festivities in Jamaica. The nation is in a good mood. Celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the island’s independence from England are underway. This weekend, Jamaican athletes are expected to burn up the track at the London Olympics and send the country in a frenzy of merriment.
Sent in to bat by the West Indies, and sitting comfortably at 151/3 at tea, New Zealand recklessly crumbled to 260 all out. The hosts then played out the required five overs to be 11 for no loss at stumps.
Little went right for New Zealand at Antigua as they succumbed to yet another defeat in the series against West Indies. And from the evidence on display, it seems not much is likely to change at Sabina Park, Jamaica as well.
Already 0-1 down, the touring New Zealand team has received a huge blow ahead of tomorrow’s Second Digicel Test at Jamaica. Former Skipper Daniel Vettori has been ruled out of the match with a groin strain. Vettori will be leaving to New Zealand following his injury.
West Indies have made one change to their squad for the 2nd Test at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Ravi Rampaul has been ruled out of action following a groin injury. The 27-year-old Trinidadian has been replaced with tearaway quick Fidel Edwards.